By Ron Munden – June 17, 2018

On Saturday the Marshall News Messenger published an article titled, “No bond election for new animal shelter after split Marshall commissioners vote.” When I read the headline, I assumed that after 6 years the City Commission had approved the project and construction would start in the fall.

After reading the rest of the article and making a few calls, I think the fate of the animal shelter is still up in the air.

The MNM article said,”Commissioners Larry Hurta, Vernia Calhoun and Doug Lewis voted against the $2.2 million certificate of obligation funding option.” It is my understanding that these commissioners will support an election petition that if successful will prevent the City from using the certificate of obligation that passed on Thursday.

Last week I wrote an article that said, “in my opinion if the city commissioners decide on a bond election rather than using a certificate of obligation, they would be shooting themselves in the foot.”

After Thursday’s vote it looks like Commissioners Hurta, Calhoun, and Lewis missed with their first shot but are putting another bullet in the chamber and getting ready to take another shot. The only difference is that if this one hits the foot it is going to be even more damaging. I’ll explain why in the remaining part of this article.



  1. Submitted by: Commissioner Gail Beil

    I’ve been castigated at least once for my vote for certificates of obligation to fund a Marshall animal shelter and $1.4 million in infrastructure improvements. Here is why I made this vote and why to me it is so important.
    Last Thursday I held up a map showing years’ worth of animal control calls in the city of Marshall. as generated by the MPD. The majority were coincidently from the areas of town where people most opposed to the animal shelter live. That’s sad because these kinds of calls are for stray animals who may be giving deadly diseases to privately owned ,and dear to their owner, cats and dogs. They are also calls from people who may have been attacked by stray animals – children or the elderly – and we had an attack on an elderly person in Marshall last year They’re coming from people’ whose have garbage strewn over the street by an animal hungry enough to eat rotten food.. I was also reminded last week that meter readers – be it water electricity or gas – have as their major health threat animal bites. Those are not” fuzzy animals” issues, though I must quickly say that fuzzy animals are another great reason for my vote. Our kill rate for animals brought to the animal shelter is unacceptable. The working situation in the current animal shelter is equally unacceptable.

    Now beyond those reasons here are the others that I voted for C..O.s. last week we Marshall citizens committed to raising $250.000 in private funds to complete the animal shelter. Additionally we are negotiating that entity offering the possibility of a $50,000 contribution to the construction of the multipurpose room part of what we approved -“Plan U”. Moreover other money has been contributed or is being raised to offset the cost of the animal shelter all of which is contingent upon choosing certificates of obligation to fund it.

    When I was elected to the city commission I promised myself to do all I could to end six years of squabbling over an animal shelter and move forward. I headed a committee consisting of the city manager. Veterinarian Darlene Wehr, the Marshall police chief (who has under his jurisdiction the animal shelter) contracter Gary Closky, and Friends of the Animals member Ed Smith. In six months this committee moved from determining our basic needs to presenting to the city commission a low-cost animal shelter meeting those needs. It was the 21st sketch.by shelter architect John Flowers That was what we approved Thursday, June 14.

    To lose more than $300,000 in private money on this project plus not being able to make critical repairs to important buildings and facilities in Marshall just seems foolish. If you don’t agree that your privilege That’s why this country is a representative democracy.

    But before you sign any petition make sure you have the facts straight. One of the folks opposed to the shelter Thursday night said Marshall property taxes were the highest in the area. He was wrong and the bond market brokers who watch our economic situation and sell bonds for us proved him wrong by saying we were among the lowest in property tax rates in this area.

    It was pointed out Thursday night that almost half the animals brought to the shelter come from the county. Unfortunately those wretched puppies and kittens don’t come with a birth certificate, and are as likely as not to have been dumped in the county by city dwellers. That said, I believe Harrison County has been ducking it’s repsonsibility for those same health and safety concerns and it’s time for them to step up to the plate!


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