Keeping Monroe Dog Warden in Post

Saving money for taxpayers is almost always a good idea. Almost, but perhaps not by the method attempted by two Monroe County commissioners.

Last month, Commissioners Carl Davis and Tim Price voted to transfer the county dog warden’s responsibilities to the sheriff’s department. Commissioner Mick Schumacher voted no.

Davis and Price emphasized they had no concern about the performance of Dog Warden Rhonda Piatt. They simply thought having the sheriff’s department handle her duties could save some money.

Upon learning the change would cost Piatt her job, Sheriff Charles Black rescinded his previous agreement to accept the new duties. Black’s only comment was in a post on the department’s Facebook page, noting Piatt’s performance has been adequate and stating he would “not displace any workers that are doing their job.”

Sheriffs and their deputies are accustomed to taking on difficult tasks, so this was not a case of shirking added responsibility.

But Piatt’s job is substantially different than what deputies normally handle. She must deal with problem animals (and often, their owners) and deal with the difficult work of managing an animal shelter. She has been discussing construction of a new one with commissioners.

Given the fact some of Black’s deputies would have had to take time off from law enforcement to handle the dog warden’s duties, it is difficult to see how much money would have been saved. Keeping Piatt in the post probably was the best outcome, in the long run.

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