By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
The Nevada County Quorum Court, meeting in a special session five days earlier than its normal meeting date, took unusual emergency action on an emerging concern — vicious dogs running loose — especially in the Bodcaw area of the county.
Arval Mason, a Bodcaw resident and a former Nevada County Justice of the Peace, requested in an impassioned presentation that the county enact a countywide “Vicious dog ordinance.”
Mason told the Justices of several loose “vicious dogs” that presented a danger to area residents. “One lady, 65, was attacked (inside the city limits) when she went to take her trash to the road (Highway 53) and again when she went to her mailbox.” While she was not bitten, she “was scared to death,” Mason said.
He also said a teenager (a relative of Mayor Larry Hicks) was bitten by the same dogs and another pair of “vicious dogs attacked the mail carrier outside the city limits.” In that case, Mason said, the dogs “tried to get to the postal carrier through the window when she was putting up mail. She sprayed them with Mace and it only made them mad.” One dog then bit into her “tired, causing it go flat. She drove off on the flat and both dogs “attacked her front bumper and left teeth marks all down it.”
District 8 Justice George Smith said he was at the October 28 meeting of the city council, when it unanimously passed a vicious dog ordinance; the ordinance mirrors a similar ordinance in Prescott and Emmet.
With no law officers in Bodcaw or Emmet, the area residents were requesting help which would free county officers to enforce vicious dog laws.
Every member of the court were emphatic about the need to control vicious dogs. Several members brought up the death of a Prescott resident several years ago and stated “We don’t want that happening again.”
The court unanimously approved a motion requesting the county attorney review the Bodcaw and Prescott ordinances and draw up a sample for the county to consider at a special meeting in two weeks.
Mason and the city council members in attendance lauded the move by the court members to act quickly before someone ‘gets hurt,” as Mason said.
In other Nevada County Quorum Court news, the Justices agreed to lease a new trash truck for the Solid Waster department at $1,519 a month for three years rather than replace a three-year-old truck than needed a $20,000 transmission. County Judge Mark Glass said the old truck had just been paid off but was “worn out” and the county would get more than $45,000 trade-in on a new one.
Two Justices, Ryan Harvey and Smith, had previously pushed for the county to start leasing heavy equipment rather than purchasing new machines. With the lease, all major maintenance is included and the county gets a new machine ever three years. Additionally, the monthly payments for the leased machine is about half what the monthly payments were for the old truck.
Glass also told the Justices that the Solid Waste department was in dire financial straits and brought up the possibility of the county charging a fee for rural trash pickup. Prescott charges $10 a month.
He charged Treasurer Susie Key with contacting other counties (she had already contacted seven) and bring an analysis to the council at its December meeting, In 2017, Smith presented a similar proposal to the council and said at that time that charging $10 a month for trash pickup would bring in about $250,000 annually.
Justices Bob Cummings, Willie Wilson and Herbert Coleman also to the county budget committee and set the first budget session for Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m.
This meeting time goes back to the time set before last year when meetings were held early evening so that citizens and other JPs that work could attend. At that time, providing more input from the citizens and having transparency to the budgeting process, was listed as the reason for the time change. No reason was given for the change back to morning meetings,
Afterwards, Smith said he was speaking with Glass to request the budget session be moved back to a time that was more convenient for citizens and JP members that work.
Also for Justices Harvey and Smith, the meeting marked the next to last for both of them before two new Justices, Chris Fore and Pat Grimes, assume the posts in January 2019. Harvey did not seek re-election due to his job requirements and Smith was defeated for re-election Tuesday by Fore.
By Rick Kennedy, managing editor