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Munson lets the fur fly at meeting

April 20, 2004|by TIM ROWLAND

So he's having a go at the dogs and cats now.

Beautiful.

You know, sometimes when I come in to work I'll see a copy of the morning paper out of the corner of my eye, and if I happen to notice that it has a headshot of Washington County Commissioner John Munson on the front page I get down on my knees and offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

And that's before I even see what the story is about. I just know it's going to be something good.

This time Munson jumped ugly with Humane Society President Dana Moylan, who was, as heads of all public agencies are wont to do, asking the commissioners for more money.

Well, J-Mun took offense, saying: "I don't like her. She's being rude. She's trying to threaten us."

That's his prerogative, I suppose, but if Munson takes a dislike to everyone who asks the county for added funding, he's going to have an enemies list that makes Richard Nixon's look like a bread-and-milk trip to Sheetz.

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I mean, does Munson dislike the sheriff because he asked for more funding? No, this looks bad because it makes it look as if Munson has it in for the animals. Who knew that for Munson, "Pound Puppies" was an imperative? And we all know how this community feels about animals.

You also have to wonder about J-Mun's definition of "rude." Asking for some jack is rude, but jacking a cell phone across a store showroom is not.

He may have met his match with the dog and cat crowd, though. Rude? He doesn't know from rude. This isn't some quiet, unassuming retail clerk faction we're talking about. I'm not saying that serious pet owners are fanatical, but - somehow another word for it escapes me at the moment.

And I mean that in a good way, let me assure you. A good and wonderful way. I myself have a dog that I love dearly. Well, OK, that I tolerate dearly. All right fine, that I do not entirely want to murder during the hours that he is asleep, or off pestering someone else to satisfy his insatiable attention vortex.

The point is, I don't want to get on the bad side of these folks because I don't want to be the subject of some "civil action," like having 18 tons of kibble dumped in my fishpond.

But now, just when you think there were no other groups left for him to offend, he torques off the biggest constituency in Washington County - next to the Hog Maw Caucus, of course.

He's gonna open up his door one morning to find 10 burlap gunnysacks full of stray cats. Infuriate animal lovers? This is the mental makeup normally reserved for the type of person who would get stranded for six hours on an escalator. Hasn't he seen all those bumper stickers that say "I'm pro-Snoopy, and I vote?"

Naturally, I'm worried about the implications this will have for J-Mun's re-election chances, which I view as crucial in our quest to have an entertained community.

He may need some sort of makeover, some political version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, in which four or five people get him to calm down for six months or so prior to the election.

Heck, I'll volunteer. I want him to win by a big margin, so he will be emboldened and for four years we can look forward to hearing what he really thinks.

As part of the makeover, maybe we can even get him to be named Honorary Animal Control Officer for a week. I don't know, but I'm guessing this is not an easy job. I for one do not want to be up at four in the morning chasing after a frothing raccoon.

But if he gets an up-close view of the county's myriad of animal problems and the difficulties faced by the people who work at the shelter, he may change his mind, at least until after the next election. And that's all we can ask.




Correction: In last Sunday's column I erroneously reported that for $1 million I would be willing to become a Yankees fan. On reflection, and under intense questioning by my Yankee-loving friend Kevin, I confess this was in error. Besides, they apparently do not want me in any case. I apologize for the error.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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