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 Dade County Commission Rebuffs Methadone Clinic

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PostSubject: Dade County Commission Rebuffs Methadone Clinic    Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:02 pm

Dade County Commission Rebuffs Methadone Clinic

The Dade County Commission on Thursday night unanimously passed an ordinance aimed at keeping a methadone clinic out of the county.

Melissa Hancock, would-be proprietress of the opiate treatment facility, said she plans to appeal.

Sheriff Patrick Cannon was among those at the hearing urging denial of the clinic. He said, “It may help some, but it’s killing a lot more. There’s proven fact that methadone is killing people. This is a money-making project, folks.”

He also said, “Methadone is the fastest-growing cause of narcotics death. Methadone prescriptions for pain management jumped from 500,000-plus after 1998 to over 4 million in 2002.”

Sheriff Cannon said there is a lack of knowledge about the drug and it needs more study. He said Dade County has no hospital for problems that might be brought on by methadone use.

The public hearing was on the subject of an ordinance to block the proposed methadone clinic in the county. It preceded a special called commission meeting following at 6 p.m. for the second reading that made the ordinance law.

Ms. Hancock said earlier Thursday, “I want to be able to express my side of the story even though I know they’ll pass it anyway.,”

The first reading of the ordinance took place at the commission’s regular
March meeting after the body passed a resolution against the proposed facility at a special called session a week earlier, at which point the county attorney, Robin Rogers, was bidden to prepare a draft ordinance. At that first reading, Mr. Rogers was further instructed to fine-tune the ordinance before a final version was adopted.

“There was concern about the way the ordinance is written, but that’s not by far the ordinance we’re going to pass,” said Commission Chairman and County Executive Ted Rumley. “There’s a lot of writing that does not need to be in there, so Robin is redrafting some of that.”

The ordinance Mr. Rogers presented to the commission on March 3 is in fact a lengthy document entitled “Land Use Management Code of Dade County, Georgia,” that commences with a page and a half of whereases, the third of which reads: “WHEREAS, Article IX, Section II, Paragraph IV of the Constitution of the State of Georgia provides that the governing authority of the County may adopt plans and exercise the power of zoning …”

But Commissioner Rumley was quick to dismiss any reference to the Z-word. “We’re not for putting in any kind of zoning. We’re not going to do that, not even insinuating, if that’s what you want to call it,” he said.

He said the final version of the ordinance will be much shorter. “This is a simple thing that needs to be taken care of,” he said. “It’s taking it down from three or four pages down to about a paragraph, is all we need.”

In fact, the ordinance to be thus foreshortened is some 26 pages long. But asked if the county attorney, however capable, could really boil it down to one paragraph, Commissioner Rumley replied with characteristic jauntiness: “Maybe half a paragraph.”

Mr. Rogers himself could not be reached Monday for a progress report on his efforts at rolling that particular universe into a ball, and he has in any case refused to discuss the matter in the past except to say that any of the county’s ordinances can be challenged.

Ms. Hancock earlier said she intends to take him up on that. “We don’t want to go up against the county, but if you do the research, you’ll see we’ll win,” she said.

She said the county can no more legally block a methadone clinic than it could a dental practice. She and her husband, Scott, have found an attorney who has agreed to represent them as a matter of justice, she said, though she declined to say who.

Ms. Hancock said the attorney had advised them to wait until the final
ordinance is passed before presenting a formal challenge. “We can’t very well challenge it before then,” she said.

She said she had spoken with Commissioner Rumley several times but had become frustrated with efforts to speak with Sheriff Cannon, who has also publicly denounced the proposed facility, and who she says will not return her calls or emails.

Since Ms. Hancock first came before the Dade County Commission at its February meeting to present her plan for a methadone treatment clinic she hoped to establish in Wildwood, the facility and the ordinance drafted against it have become hot-button issues in local news, with some letter-writers and Internet forum posters arguing the pros and cons of
methadone treatment itself and the need or lack of same for a methadone clinic in the county, and at least one accusing the commission of attempting to sneak in zoning regulations.

An effort in 1992 to open a methadone facility within the city of Trenton was rejected soundly amid much public outcry after objections from then-Sheriff Philip Street.

The hearing was in the Commission room of the county Administrative Building.

original link

http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_197928.asp


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PostSubject: Re: Dade County Commission Rebuffs Methadone Clinic    Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:55 am


"Ms. Hancock earlier said she intends to take him up on that. “We don’t want to go up against the county, but if you do the research, you’ll see we’ll win,” she said.

She said the county can no more legally block a methadone clinic than it could a dental practice. She and her husband, Scott, have found an attorney who has agreed to represent them as a matter of justice, she said, though she declined to say who"


I really do hope this goes to court.



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PostSubject: Re: Dade County Commission Rebuffs Methadone Clinic    Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:52 am



Here's a Video that I found. An interview with the woman that wants to open the clinic and the County Executive Ted Rumley.



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