Gone to the dogs

Somewhere, in an editorial school classroom, an instructor is standing in front of the class and, with a very serious face, stating “Do not use cliches. Cliches are horrible and you must never use them.”

The students are bent over, making note of this, being serious about the craft of editorial writing.

Regardless: We’re compelled to state there’s a new sheriff in town.

Now granted (and acknowledging, then ignoring, the public opinion roman candle lit any time the word “sheriff” pops up on the op/ed page) that’s a cliche, and one which invokes an image of the swaggering do-gooder come to town to thwart miscreants, but we’re going to let this one go (which is, granted, not the first time we’ve violated the rules of editorial writing). This is nothing quite that romantic, but instead more practical.

Tim Pike, the new Animal Control officer for Van Buren County, is obviously serious about doing a good job, and as a reflection of that began with asking questions of the Clinton City Council about animal licensing, a matter which, while long in place in the city, had been loosely, at best, enforced.

But now there’s a new sheriff in town. Pike, along with the rest of city government, didn’t come out and make some “and now we’re going after them” statement, but the clear impression given was that things will be less loose in time to come for Clinton pet owners. We can expect citations issued in time to come.

And with that said, it was made clear at the same meeting that license money would go to the shelter, Councilman Pistole made it a point to communicate that fact. Well good, we’re already seeing that a growing, successful, county needs not just animal control, but good animal control which includes a shelter capable of housing animals in a useful fashion. We even saw last year a large chunk of citizens who agree with that statement, and made their views known to city and county government.

Shelter head Lori Treat, fresh from the discovery of the slings and arrows which come with public service as social media posters play the torches and pitchforks game (welcome to the game, Lori), is giving the heads up on this, identifying shortcoming in the shelter’s ability to house animals - a shelter which was, at last check, full. And here again, more to the point, she is bringing these things up to government bodies, and speaking openly about the need for help in creating a viable not-for-profit animal shelter for the county.

It’s a pain in the neck: Stray dogs and cats, puppies tossed out on the side of the road, and it’s at best annoying to deal with in a forthright fashion. But what choice do we have? We’re, if nothing else, making a push into attracting more tourist dollars and it’s not an attractive area with stray animals. We’re going to have to up our game, and it’s begun with a new, as it were, sheriff.

Sonic boom

We have to hand it to the Clinton Advertising and Promotions (A&P) Commision in its recent invoking of a Tardis, a time-travelling phone booth just like the one used in a popular television show, to get some excitement up in the area about the area.

Philippians 1: 4-6 (NIV)

4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.