Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Gloucester, VA Animal Control Ordinances vs State and Federal Laws and Codes

We have completed going through all of the Gloucester County, Virginia ordinances as they relate to and are covered under Animal Control.  What we have found are numerous violations in a number of local ordinances.

  Gloucester Animal Control Ordinance 3-18 is our biggest complaint, however, it is not our only complaint.  We have a real problem with Gloucester County officials just making up ordinances in violation of both state as well as federal codes, and or laws.

It is outrageous that county officials have gotten away with this for so long and it's time to put a stop to it all.   Here is what we found posted in a SlideShare container to keep the site compact but still very usable.

Gloucester, Virginia Animal Control Ordinances With Notes, 10 2014 from Chuck Thompson

The above is the complete Animal Control ordinances for Gloucester County as of November 2nd, 2014 as they currently stand.  We have highlighted areas we found to be illegal or highly questionable, in yellow.  Our notes follow the yellow highlighted sections with a salmon colored highlighting over the notes.  We point out that we can not find any corresponding state codes and argue to have these illegal codes removed from the books.

  A copy of the above has already been sent to the Board of Supervisors for this upcoming meeting to be held at the Colonial Courthouse in the Courthouse circle on Wednesday evening.  That meeting starts at 7:00 PM.

  Our biggest contention is the very highly illegal ordinance 3-18.  We have done all the research on this ordinance and it's proposed changes and have sent all the findings to the Board of Supervisors asking that no form of ordinance 3-18 show up on the books as it not only violates state codes, it also violates Federal Laws too.

Sec. 3-18. Animals in enclosed vehicles.

(a) It shall be unlawful to leave any animal in a vehicle without the
benefit of air conditioning when the outside temperature reaches
eighty (80) degrees Fahrenheit or greater.

(b) Any person who confines an animal in an unattended vehicle so as
to cause the animal to suffer from heat stress, shall be guilty of a
Class 1 misdemeanor. The animal control officer or other officer
shall have the authority to remove any animal found left in an
enclosed a vehicle that appears to be suffering from heat stress.
The animal shall be provided immediate veterinary care. The
animal owner or custodian shall be responsible for all expenses
incurred during the removal of the animal or its subsequent
treatment and impoundment.

(c) In the event that the person responsible for the violation cannot be
ascertained, the registered owner of the vehicle, as required by
Chapter 6 of Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia, shall constitute in
evidence a prima facie presumption that such registered owner
was the person who committed the violation."

The above is the proposed new ordinance 3-18. It's original form was not legal and this new re write is even more illegal than it's predecessor.  We have posted those reasons on here many times already.  What we have not posted on here is Federal laws.  We have heard arguments being claimed that Animal Control isn't considering horse trailers as vehicles.  Well under the definition of federal law, horse trailers are considered vehicles.

CFR Title 41;  §102-34.35  

Motor vehicle means any vehicle, self propelled or drawn by mechanical power, designed and operated principally for highway transportation of property or passengers, but does not include a military design motor vehicle or vehicles not covered by this part (see §102-34.20).

That is the definition of a vehicle under federal law.  So it does include a horse trailer as a vehicle.  Animal Control's statements do not override federal law.

Further, we did research under title 49 of federal laws to see if the federal government requires air conditioning for transportation of people or animals.  There are no requirements and anyone who wants to question this, please, here are the links to check out for yourself.

Yes, we even looked up the transportation of migrant works as it is only reasonable that these laws would be more stringent.  Air conditioning is not required under federal laws.

  Local ordinances can not supersede state laws that can not supersede federal laws.  Animal Control ordinance 3-18 seeks to supersede both state and federal laws.  That is simply outrageous.

Today, Sunday November 2nd, 2014, we received a phone call from a friend who told us about a meeting of concerned animal owners in the county, the meeting of which was held at Anna's Pizza in the courthouse area.  Some of the people at this meeting are not going to be able to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting this coming Wednesday.

We have sent a copy of this petition to the Board of Supervisors and we recommend that everyone who is concerned about this and other illegal ordinances contact the Board as soon as possible before Wednesday Night's meeting. is their email address.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Gloucester, VA Happy Halloween, Dracula And Frankenstein Are Here

VHS cover.
VHS cover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, Free eBook from Chuck Thompson

Though we are not fans of Halloween for our own reasons, we know that a great deal of people love this time of year.  So with that, we have put up this book from Bram Stoker, Dracula.  It's the entire book.  You are free to download a copy.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Free eBook from Chuck Thompson

This version of Frankenstein is the second print copy produced for Mary Shelly.  It has some very interesting history covered in the very beginning of this book explaining how she came up with the idea for the book.  Again, the book is available for free downloads.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gloucester, VA Invitation For Bids, Ruggedized Computers For Police Service, Oct. 2014

Ruggedized computers for police service bid requests from Chuck Thompson

In an effort to see if we can help increase awareness of bid proposal opportunities we are posting this information where the local government is requesting bids for computers.  All of the details are above.  Please do not contact us for any bids.  This is for local county government.  Again, we are just trying to increase awareness.

Gloucester, Virginia Links and News, GVLN
Gloucester, Virginia's Best News Source

Gloucester, VA Utilities Commission Meeting Minutes, July, 2014

Gloucester Utilities Committee Meeting Minutes from Chuck Thompson

Here are the meeting minutes from the Gloucester County utilities commission.  Information not readily available to the public in the past.  Through requests we have been able to get county officials to make this information available to the public.  These types of reports help you to understand how your tax money is used.

Gloucester, Virginia Links and News, GVLN
Gloucester, Virginia's Best News Source

Gloucester, VA School Board Meeting For October, 2014: A Must Watch

In case you missed this meeting, here is the video.  We are re hosting these meetings on YouTube now for better streaming.  We have heard and experienced many complaints about the streaming from the county's main website and it's very rare that streaming from YouTube represents issues.  You can still embed these video and share them any way you wish.

Now this is one of those must watch videos.  Most of the times these videos have a tendency to be boring.  This one has some really good moments that make it well worth watching.

Gloucester, Virginia Links and News
Gloucester's Best News Site

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gloucester, VA Animal Control Retaliates Against Us For Exposing Them (Part One)

Retaliation.  Above what you see is Animal Control officer Jeff Stillman taking pictures of me while I was at a local Animal Swap meet at Tractor Supply a couple of weeks ago.  I was with a couple of friends and met with other people who I know at this meet.  The pictures were taken of not only me, but also a couple of the friends I was with.  What set this off?  Nothing that I did.  I could care less that he was there.  I was not even aware that he was doing this until one of the people I was talking with told me he was taking my picture.

Once I was made aware of what he was doing, it became a battle of the cameras.  It would seem clear that this is retaliation for my reporting issues surrounding other Animal Control officers and how they seem from every appearance, to be following made up illegal county ordinances as well as reporting on them as they use government vehicles for personal use.

After several minutes of the Battle of the Cameras, he pulled behind Tractor Supply and called in the Sheriff's department.  Numerous deputies showed up.  After about another 10 minutes, several Sheriff's deputies get out of their vehicles along with Jeff and then they walk up to where I am with a friend and stare us down.  Since that did not work for them, they removed themselves to the middle of the swap meet and it became a Mexican standoff.  I was not about to leave just because they wanted to be intimidating.

Now is this stalking by Jeff Stillman against me and my friends?

That is a tough one.  Technically, Animal Control in the state of Virginia are not considered law enforcement in one area but are in other areas.  They are not police.  Do they have the authority to conduct public investigations?  Not from what I could find.  What right did he have to do this?  If he was out of uniform?  Who cares.  But he was in uniform and on county, hence, taxpayer time.  Am I even someone who needs to be checked out for animal issues?  Don't you have to own animals first?

So if I can not be considered someone who needs to be watched for past animal abuses, then why is he doing this?  All we can come up with is this is pure retaliation.

This picture above is from a story we did on Animal Control where this deputy was about to break into a vehicle and take someone's personal property.  The owner came out just in time.  She was acting on what we have shown to be an illegal county ordinance in our view based on all available state codes and the Dillon Rule research.

That illegal ordinance is in the sign above, again, based on our research and reported here on this site.

Jeff Stillman still has a job even though we reported this issue to county officials.  What did they do, just slap him on the hand while patting him on the back for this retaliation?  This is only part of the story.  There is more coming soon.  This guy carries a gun.  Do I feel safe knowing he is still on the road?  No.  But there seems to be no state law against what he has done.  That means we are all in danger with this guy being out there and county officials don't seem to care.  Who is next?  You?  Will he decide to not use a camera the next time and use his gun?  Who knows?  Either way, it seems clear that he is unstable.

Steve Baranek from another story we did on Animal Control.

This picture was taken inside of Buying It Used, owned by yet another Animal Control deputy.  The above is of County property.  How was it acquired?  It's against county ordinance for county employees to buy county used goods from the county auction site which is how county property is supposed to be disposed of.  The projector says Petsworth School on it's side.