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Short takes on two issues

April 16, 2004

West Virginia state Sen. Herb Snyder's driving-under-the-influence case ought to be settled with a plea agreement, now that the blood sample he gave has apparently been lost and the arresting officer is now serving with the armed forces in Iraq.

Sen. Snyder has never denied he was drinking on the night in question and says he has since undergone treatment for his problem.

No more judicial or police time and resources should be spent on this case. The senator should be offered a plea agreement that would allow everyone to get on with business, preferably before the May 11 primary.

If voters choose to deny Snyder re-election based on this incident, that's their right. But the case should be settled before they have to make that decision.

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Washington County Commissioner John Munson took offense this week when Dana Moylan, the president of the Washington County Humane Society's board came before the commissioners to ask for more money.

Not only did the society ask that $362,000 be added to its current fiscal year allocation of $510,620, it's also asking for $421,000 in addition to the $769,000 the county has proposed for the next fiscal year.

Moylan said the request was necessary because the county has short-changed the society by $1 million for animal-control costs over the past three years.

If the money isn't forthcoming, Moylan said, the society might have to operate without sufficient staff and turn away animals.

Commissioners President Greg Snook said that the county government wants to work with the society and needs time to consider its request. These issues should be addressed:

- Why did it take three years for society officials to come forward if they were having financial problems?

- If one of their budget-cutting options is to accept fewer animals, why not start by accepting only those brought in by Washington County residents?

- If society officials are predicting they'll handle 1,400 more animals this year than last, does that mean that the spay and neuter program funded through the purchase of dog licenses is having no effect, and if not, why not?

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