Riverside Council discusses dealings with ASPCI
by Elsie Hodnett
RIVERSIDE — The City Council discussed its dealings with the Animal Shelter of Pell City Inc. at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“I tried to find out information about the animal shelter last year and was trying to attend meetings, but I couldn’t because the meetings were closed,” Councilman Bill Cantley said.

Cantley said ASPCI officials told him that because they were a private entity, they did not fall under the Alabama Open Meetings Act and did not open meetings to the public.

“Pell City Mayor Joe Funderburg recently announced in a meeting that he wanted an audit and accountability from them,” he said.

Cantley said the city’s contract with the ASPCI has not been updated since 2002 and there has not been a rate increase since 2002.

“In my opinion, if they are going to use public money they need to be accountable for it,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup said. “The public has a right to know.”

Jessup said many of the cities in St. Clair County contract with the ASPCI for animal control, and the issue would likely be discussed at the upcoming St. Clair County Mayors Association meeting.

“ASPCI is a nonprofit corporation and is not required to conduct open meetings,” ASPCI Board President Barbara Wallace said Wednesday. “ASPCI Board of Director’s meetings are related to specific business matters, the same as any corporation. If there is an issue that has gone through normal channels and requires Board of Directors attention, anyone can request to be on the agenda for a specific item. I have been president since Jan. 1, 2013 and have not received a request from anyone to be included on our agenda.”

In other matters Tuesday, the council:

• Approved a resolution vacating roads located on the Delbert Shaw property after holding a public hearing on the same issue.

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.

© 2013