Ronda citizens’ views sought on animals

By Beanie Taylor -

RONDA — At the Ronda town board gathering Thursday, animal ordinances were not the only hot topic, though it did dominate the meeting.

Procedure was questioned as updates on the Macedonia Church Road Water Extension and the Carolina Fibers Sewer Bill were updated as well as new situations with wifi at the Town Hall and cameras at the Ronda maintenance shop. Although the meeting contained some tense moments as well as laughter, when Commissioner Sandra Simmons made the motion to re-table the animal ordinances, the atmosphere of the room changed.

“Why do we want to keep lagging around when we need to take care of this and get on to our business?” asked Simmons, reminding the commissioners that they had set a date to have a final decision on this issue made by the end of the year.

Although hesitant to reopen the sensitive subject, the commissioners participated in earnest discussion with Commissioners Manuel Wood and Rheajean Benge reluctant to discuss the animal ordinances further without direct input from the citizens of Ronda, suggesting sending a letter in order to take an informal vote. “I think the citizens of Ronda should help make the decision,” Wood declared.

Mayor Victor Varela protested, “To protect property value, we need to have an ordinance. If they feel strongly about it, they can come to the board meeting,” as he continued to question the reluctance to agree to the rewritten ordinances that would limit farm animals on smaller property as well as help clean up neglected property.

Simmons argued that she didn’t “think the town of Ronda will think that we are trying to dictate to them.” One of the changes in the ordinance allows adjacent property owners to permit exceptions.

Commissioner Helen Porter was not bothered by the changes saying, “I think we need some guidelines for the future generations to go by.”

Wood stated he was concerned about enforcement complaining, “(No one will) enforce any ordinance that the town passed.”

Simmons clarified, “We are. We are the elected officials.”

The decision was made to add the ordinance changes to the agenda for the next meeting.

Ronda Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall for further discussion. Citizens are encouraged to attend.

Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.

By Beanie Taylor

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