Cops, cats hot topic for town

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two hot topics -- cops and cats -- sizzled during the public comment section of the Bainbridge Town Council meeting on Wednesday evening.

Audience members presented the board with a petition signed by more than 100 people to retain the services of Deputy Mike Mahoy, who has accepted the town marshal position in Roachdale but intends to remain working for Bainbridge as a deputy. The fact that many police officials work for more than one police department or have additional jobs was pointed out to the board.

Supporters of Mahoy were eager to participate in a discussion about Mahoy, who they say was allegedly asked to resign by town Marshal Rodney Fenwick. The board asked if Mahoy had resigned or been dismissed. He had not. Board president Mike Smith informed the audience that this was not an issue for their review and was a personnel matter between Fenwick and Mahoy.

Town Attorney Laurie Hardwick told the audience that there was a grievance procedure that needed to be followed and that Mahoy had not turned in a grievance. After repeated attempts to get more information and to provide their side of the story, audience members eventually took back the petition stating it would be represented at a later date if Mahoy was dismissed.

Hardwick informed them the petition was part of the public record but members of the audience held onto the petition. The board did commend Mahoy on doing an outstanding job for the town.

Meanwhile, a discussion regarding the overabundance of cats in the town came up next in the public comment part of the meeting.

"How many animals are people allowed to have -- like cats?"was the question of the night. Audience members commented that the cat situation was much worse than the dog issue. Dogs are controlled, but cats are not. Apparently numerous cats are roaming people's yards. One town resident remarked on how often cats were dumped off on or near their property. There was no resolution to this issue as there are no regulations for cats.

The subject next turned to parked cars in yards.

"They are being towed away," Fenwick responded. "We get one moved out, another one comes in," he added.

He reported that three of them had been removed recently. It was determined that some of the vehicles which are antiques or operable are excluded from removal.

Also during the business meeting, the council learned that the park board had applied for a West Central grant in order to put in two new basketball courts in an area near the school corporation building.

Audience members asked for the park board to consider fencing the area to protect children from running into the street. Smith stated the town council would work with the park board on the suggestion.

Under new business, the group Friends of the Park requested to use the community building for next year's Fun in the Sun fundraiser. The money raised from this event funds projects like a summer program for kids in Bainbridge, Roachdale and Russellville. Forty children had participated earlier in the day at a day camp at the community building. The board approved the motion to allow the Friends group to use the facility for next year's event.

The Bainbridge Town Council meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the community building. The meeting is open to the public.

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