Friday, February 27, 2009

Tax Woes for Lilburn City Councilman Eddie Price

When you think of property taxes and elected officials it never dawns on you that those with the power to tax your home don't think they have to pay taxes on the property they own.

An investigation into property held by Lilburn City Councilman's Eddie Price has resulted in a tax bill off over $1,700 being issued to Councilman Price for illegally claiming a homestead exemption on rental property he owns.

Councilman Price has owned and operated his business, Eddie's Automotive (located on Webb Parkway), in the City of Lilburn since June of 1990. He lives in Lilburn with his family and is a deeply committed member of the community. However, he's not as committed to pay his property taxes.

Price involved himself in my dog barking case in Gwinnett's Recorders Court last August when he testified that he was caretaker for his wife's rental property located two doors down.

Property records confirmed the house is deeded to Price's wife "Wanda Moaveni" with the tax bills being sent to Price's luxury home located at 230 Flowers Cove Lane in Liburn. Price now rents that property out to a family who owns two outdoor dogs whose barking apparently isn't an issue.

What is unclear is why Price had such an issue with my dogs since he lives several miles away - or was he interested in forcing me out of my home so he could purchase it in a distress sale? Regardless, his ethics and capacity to represent citizens should be questioned.

One is left to wonder what role Price played in the county solicitor's position that "my" neighborhood would be better served if I surrendered upwards of ten of my dogs or MOVED to resolve my barking dog issue. Was Price interested in justice and tranquility or merely seeking the opportunity to purchase my property in a distress sale?

The integrity of any political figure who seeks to kill old lazy hounds should be an issue for all of us who cherish our family pets. Those elected to government positions must serve as a role model in paying ALL the taxes that they are required to pay. It is disingenuous for a person of Price's political stature to run on a "deep commitment" to the community keeping property owners taxes low while in fact he is claiming exemptions he is not entitled to.

Councilman Price chose to involve himself in my dog barking case which ultimately opened up his involvement of the skimming off of tax revenue he was participating in. Those who cast stones should not live in glass houses.

This issue will certainly surface during future discussions with the city of Lilburn's attempt at annexing a large part of un incorporated Gwinnett.

I certainly don't want a person who places personal greed over citizens rights to own pets making decisions for me or my hounds.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

AJC - Gwinnett ordinance would get tougher on barking dogs

Saturday, January 31, 2009

AJC - Ordinance would get tougher on barking dogs
Gwinnett's Animal Advisory Council is encouraging pet owners to submit comments on these proposals before the draft is submitted to the county commissioners.


Ordinance would get tougher on barking dogs

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gwinnett dog owners will be required to keep a closer ear on their best friends if a draft resolution under consideration becomes law.

The county’s citizen Animal Advisory Council is considering changes to the animal control ordinance that sets more specific limits on how long and how loud a dog can bark. It also expands the description for tethering of animals.

The biggest change is the definition of “intermittent” barking, which would be defined as any vocalization by an animal for a continuing period of 30 seconds or more on five or more occasions in any 30-minute period. The current ordinance does not define intermittent, but only states that such barking cannot go on for more than 30 minutes.

The draft proposal also defines as a nuisance any vocalization plainly audible to a person of ordinary hearing ability not located on the same property as the animal. The proposal would excuse barking “given as a warning to the presence of a person trespassing on the property” where the animal is located.

The proposal has generated some chatter on local blogs, but county officials dismiss some of the criticism as preposterous.

Karen Thomas, director of the county attorney’s office, which is helping draft the ordinance, said the advisory council is addressing the issue because of concerns raised in the community.

“It’s the whole balancing thing of if you have an animal, then you should care for the animal,” she said. “It’s to help make sure there is no mistreatment of animals.”

Penalties include up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. The proposal, in its infancy, is not scheduled to be heard by the County Commission any time soon.

Advisory council chairperson Gail LaBerge would not comment on the specifics of the ordinance, saying only that its under review.

Randy DeCarlo, a frequent critic of the animal control ordinance, said there is a more sinister motive behind the effort.

“The main crux of the problem with the animal ordinance on barking is they allow anybody to file a criminal complaint against you, without any investigation from any policing agency,” DeCarlo said. “If you own one dog, you face six months in jail. That’s absurd. You don’t put people in jail because their dogs bark.”

DeCarlo added that the ordinance may curtail adoptions at the animal shelter, resulting in more animals being put down.

“I can’t remember the last time we impounded a dog for barking,” said shelter manager Mary Lou Respess.

The new ordinance, she said, actually makes it tougher to prosecute an owner because it ultimately takes two neighbors — not one — to swear out a barking complaint.

“People don’t say ‘I’m not going to adopt a dog because it might bark,” Respess said. “It just doesn’t come up.”