Floyd County’s Board of Supervisors surprised some this week with a 3-2 vote to reject a plan that would allow volunteers from the Humane Society to help out at the county animal shelter.
The vote left at least one supervisor — Bill Gardner — visibly angry. Gardner voted to accept the plan that would have allowed the volunteers to help staff the center at no cost to the county. The action came after county administrator Dan Campbell spent several months working with the Humane Society to hammer out a deal.
Courthouse supervisor Jerry Boothe said the "only people" in his district who seem to support the proposal are members of the Humane Society. However, another source tells me that some board members got an earful from another county official at the recent Virginia League of Counties meeting. That official claimed letting the Humane Society into their animal shelter operation ended up with the them building a new $5 million cat shelter.
Just because something like that may have happened in another county doesn’t mean it would happen here. Even our supervisors aren’t that gullible — I hope.
I wonder if something more basic is at work here. It could be a resurfacing of the old "us vs. them" mentality that pits Floyd County locals against the alternative lifestylers. Listen to the breakfast conversations at The Blue Ridge Restaurant and you hear the guys in the overalls and John Deere hats say the Humane Society is "run by hippies" and shouldn’t be allowed into any part of county government.
If this is really what sent Boothe and fellow supervisors Virgel Allen and Fred Gerald scurrying for cover and voting against the animal shelter then they should be ashamed. They owe the Humane Society and the residents of Floyd County an apology.