The Waxahachie City Council unanimously approved establishing the city’s very first animal control advisory committee during their regular Monday session.
According to the city’s Health and Safety Code, animal services requires an advisory committee to ensure that practices and procedures are humane and consistent with industry standards. Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby explained that Animal Control did not previously have an advisory committee and sought to implement this as required by statute.
Goolsby explained that law requires the committee be comprised of a licensed veterinarian, a county or municipal official, an individual who operates an animal shelter daily and a representative from an animal welfare organization. City manager Michael Scott said residents could join the committee later, if interested.
“If there are those folks that are dog lovers who want to serve, then we can add them at that point,” Scott said.
Goolsby recommended Menser Veterinary Clinic veterinarian Tommy Menser, Waxahachie Animal Services supervisor Terri Muniz, Waxahachie Code Enforcement officer Melony Jordan and Ellis County SPCA officer Jennifer Johnson to serve on this first committee. By statute, the committee is required to meet at least three times per year.
“We’ve got those people lined up, willing to help us with this,” Goolsby stated. “As soon as we get this in place, we will start meeting and get their input on our services.”
The Waxahachie City Council unanimously approved the ordinance, 4-0. Mayor Kevin Strength was absent from the meeting, and Mayor Pro-Tem David Hill led the meeting in his absence.
HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICES
The council also approved a three-year master service agreement with Bureau Veritas North America Inc. for third-party health inspection services.
Assistant city manager Tommy Ludwig said the city previously had a full-time health inspector who reviewed permitted food establishments and construction plans. However, he noted, the previous inspector accepted a new position within another department.
With the full-time health inspector position vacant, Ludwig stated this interlocal agreement was made with the City of Midlothian to fulfill the needs of the position while they search for a new candidate to take over the job full-time.
“These positions are very hard to hire,” Scott remarked.
Ludwig explained that the service agreement would be valid for a period of three years or when the contract fees reach $150,000, whichever comes first. He stated that the contract would be funded through the salary savings from the vacant inspector position.
The council unanimously approved the agreement, 4-0.