BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

April 11, 2007

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 6/6/07

 

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

16. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING Alternative Resolutions/Lane County No-Kill/Adopt Philosophy.

A.February Resolution

B.Board Chair Resolution

C.Commissioner Fleenor's Resolution

 

Fleenor discussed three options:A., B. and C.He drafted Option C with the help of three other individuals.He said Option C is a group effort that had evolved over the past four years since their official LCARA task force report.He said they used the task force report as the basis for this draft.He said they also used the No Kill Coalitionís no kill philosophy board order, Option A.He reviewed this and thought there was a significant lack of accountability and specificity and that is why they put together Option C.He said it directs the administrator to perform certain duties, functions, and processes that will eventually culminate in a no kill facility.He thought they needed the specificity to move the program forward.†† He said they would work within County resources, utilizing the broadest interpretation of state law, statutes, codes, policies and procedures, complimentary to and not in conflict with prevailing staffing patterns.He commented that Option 3 would actually move the County forward positively.He noted the other options were more of a philosophical approach without any type of accountability.He said if they adopt any other option other than Option 3, they would be discussing the same thing next year and 1,864 more animals would have died.

 

Dwyer said the resolution was nice but the budget process was separate.He didnít want to have a resolution drive the budget process.He wanted the budget process to be independent of any resolution because it has to stand on its own merits.He didnít want to be put in a position where they say things on one piece of paper and they take actions that are contrary in another venue because they are necessary.He asked how Fleenor would reconcile it.

 

Fleenor recalled there is a provision that states all of this was within the existing budgetary constraints.He commented that they might not have LCARA and then Option 3 would not exist.He added if they do have LCARA, then working within the resources they have available, they will try to implement as many of the programs as possible to accomplish the no kill philosophy over a certain period of time.

 

Dwyer reported that even with full federal funding, if the government comes through with Budget 1 or Budget 2, LCARA is due to take a hit.He said with the revenue package that was put forward, it gives money to Extension and Veteranís Service and makes money available to LCARA.†† He thought the intent was fine but he had other concerns. He received a letter from the Humane Society of the United States and they didnít like the resolutions.He said the bottom line is no shelter wants to euthanize animals.He said the fact is shelters will encounter animals that are either unsafe or unsuitable for adoption or in need of care or services beyond the scope and resources and euthanasia remains a necessary reality.He added the Humane Society was concerned about the expectation and the resources.

 

Fleenor commented that if they donít take the first step, they could never see this happen.He said staffing and resources are within the parameters.He said they werenít asking for additional funding, just the opportunity to take the first step.

 

Green asked if there were any other counties where there were no kill regulatory shelters on the West Coast or the state that are county owned that have adopted this kind of philosophy.

 

Wellington indicated the research that he had done does not show a government entity as a no kill.He had found they do partnerships with humane societies and SPCAís that are no kill.

 

Green asked if that had been explored by this group as an alternative.He thought Greenhill would be a likely candidate.He recommended doing something that was in place instead of going through a regulatory route.

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.

 

C.T. Fulkerson, Eugene, stated he had been the liaison committee chair for the No Kill Community Coalition.He indicated he had been working since October 2006 directly with Mike Wellington.He noted there are extenuating circumstances relating to the program.He said when the No Kill Community Coalition was formed, it was formed on the basis of a group of dedicated volunteers to spend time making a difference at LCARA.He said they wanted to minimize the killing of animals that are adoptable.He said that was their charge from the beginning.He said they recognized they had existing facility and staff.He indicated there was never any intent on the part of the volunteers to impede or jeopardize those areas. He noted it had not cost the County any additional money by having them there and providing support for the animals and staff where necessary. He noted last Monday they had their annual no kill meeting and the group voted unanimously for Option C. He stated there was a letter sent out by the union indicating that this might create problems with the union by the volunteers doing work out there.He recalled the first time they met with Wellington, he had a list of things they could do as volunteers and they had adhered to the list.He commented that the notion the volunteers are there to take the work from the union is without basis.He asked the Board to move ahead with the no kill philosophy.

 

John Archer, Junction City, stated he owns boarding facilities.†† He said he understands the daily activities of the shelter operation.He said when people talk about the budget and problems relating to a shelter, he knows what is involved.He wasnít receptive to the excuses and doesnít accept the statement of budget limitations in order for the County facility to adopt some of the progressive measures occurring nationwide.He noted that many of the proposals could be accomplished without extra expense to the County.He believed the reservations and the concerns against the proposal have little or no merit.†† He believed the commissioners had information for them to support the no kill resolution.He supported Wellingtonís statement that most of the no kill shelters are humane societies that operate with enforcement.He encouraged the Board to vote to adopt Option C.

 

Susan McDonald, requested that her public comment time be given to the following speaker.

 

Daniel Stotter, represented Voices for Animals.He said on the policy level there is a need for the Board of Commissioners to set a County policy as to when euthanasia is or is not an appropriate decision for dogs and cats that are under the jurisdiction of LCARA.†† He indicated the policy that is broadly supported by the animal welfare community is to prohibit the killing of adoptable or treatable animals.He said that is referred to as a no kill policy.He said that Green raised good points that it is not a no kill policy, it would allow euthanasia, but only if an animal is not treatable or adoptable. He said they could call it a euthanasia policy, but this type of policy, (a no kill policy) has been proven to work in Oregon.He said they should direct staff to look at policies of the Florence Humane Society and Ochoco County in Central Oregon.He added this is where a type of policy hadbeen proven to work well and was cost effective.He stated this is what the citizens of Lane County want and what they deserve.He added if they donít go in that direction, he thought they would run into a liability issue.He said prevention is the best step to avoid litigation.He said it is a matter of time before they are going to have negligence claims under the Oregon Tort Claims Act by pet owners for failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care, considering the way LCARA is operating at present.He said in addition to the need for policy change, there is an urgent need for a management change for LCARA.He suggested that the Board of Commissioners deserved better.He said he found multiple instances where LCARA gave the Board misleading and dishonest statements. He wanted change in the management direction.

 

Green commented that he had not had the experience that Stotter described.He found staff to be the opposite.He didnít want to endorse or condone everything that he [Stotter] said.Green wanted the record to show that he had a different experience.

 

Jacqueline Roberts, Eugene, commented that she was tired about going to many meetings and nothing was resolved.She stated it was time the Board took a step in a positive direction.She said Nathan Winograd is available.She said he would come for 10 days for $10,000 in which he would set up a program.She wanted to get someone on board who knows what they are doing.She wanted to set up a program and follow his dictates.She commented if the present administration of LCARA doesnít know what they are doing, then they would follow his dictates and if they donít they could find another job and put people in who are willing to work under his proposals.She was willing to put up $1,000 to get a campaign started to raise money to bring him here.

 

Katie Hull Anderson, stated she is a supporter of LCARA and Greenhill.She was dismayed by the attack on LCARA.She commented that LCARA is an amazing organization run by great employees who have a daunting task to keep up with the flood of lost and abused animals that their stupid owners donít know how to care for.She was impressed by the professional staff.She indicated she was involved in three adoptions at LCARA and was impressed by the smooth efficiency and genuine joy of the staff when one of their rescues went to a good home.She commented with the budget crisis, she saw an exemplary staff redoubling their efforts to do what they do so well.She noted that every department needs more funding but this one is essential.She stated that animals need saving until new owners can find them and LCARA is a perfect place for that.She commented that LCARA doesnít deserve the current assault along with the budget cuts.

 

Rita Castillo, Springfield, said she had been volunteering at LCARA once a week since October.She said she was told she shouldnít be doing what the staff was doing.She said she spends four hours a month calling on the lost and found list and comparing to see if any of the lists match.She indicated it keeps the records more current because the employees donít have time to do it.She stated that everyone she had talked to had thanked her.She commented that a volunteer is not rushed like an employee, they could take time with the animals and they could tell if a dog is good or not.She said that exercise helps and relieves stress and they are more adoptable and the staff doesnít have time to do that.She asked the Board to approve Option C.

 

Starly Pupke, Eugene, said she has volunteered for two years.She added she has a small pet rescue with four other women.She commented that volunteers are critical at LCARA.She added they have to work towards a no kill philosophy and she supported Option C.She noted there have been 6,000 cats killed at LCARA since 2002 and about 3,500 dogs.She said without budget constraints but with volunteers reaching into the public to make them more aware, the public could recognize what goes on. She believed the public will step in and make more of a difference.Her concern was that LCARA was not 100 percent no kill with cats.†† She didnít want LCARA to euthanize any cats within the next few weeks.

 

George Nielsen, Junction City, stated he has lived in Lane County since 1948.He asked the Board to reconsider policies and move to a no kill type of facility.He thinks Option C should be adopted and urged the Board to consider it.He said that all animals deserve the chance to be adopted.He asked the Board to make the changes immediately instead of routinely killing animals.

 

Cheryl Dyer, said she is President of the AFSCME Local 2831.She stated their local works with LCARA by donating funds, helping with fundraisers and meeting with the members.She noted the people who work at LCARA work there because they love animals and euthanizing is hard for them.She reported that they do whatever they can to get an animal ready for adoption and sometimes an animal is not adoptable.She said they are progressive and have taken great strides in the past few years.She commented that the no kill was a wonderful concept but takes time and money, as volunteers arenít free.She said they have to be supervised by paid staff and the choices the public have if they go to a no kill facility, is that if the facility is full, they wonít take any more pets.She said that removes all of the choices for the public.She noted they will have to euthanize animals by themselves or they would release their animals somewhere else to make sure someone else takes care of it.She noted that any changes impacting their members working there are a subject point of bargaining and they would have to bargain that.She said they canít stand by idly and watch volunteers do bargaining membersí work.

 

David Calderwood, Eugene, stated he was in support of LCARA.He said he had the same experience that Commissioner Green had.He believed staff and management had been respectful of him as a volunteer.He thought they were doing the best job they could within the constraints of the law.He supported Option C and hoped the Board would do the same.

 

Renate Heartland, Executive Director, Pet Adoption Network, commented that the current structure they have does not support no kill.She added that it doesnít support low kill.She said they do not hold people accountable who abuse animals.She thought there should be mandatory spay and neuter, making it affordable for low income residents.She commented that no kill was not the answer now, they needed to get to no kill through various steps and they were not there.She commented that it wouldnít be feasible to vote on a resolution at this time.

 

Donna Merrill, Springfield, stated there are about 20,000 feral and homeless cats and dogs in the Springfield and Eugene area.She indicated that these animals are at the mercy of the elements.She said they couldnít house that many animals.She said they have to get things down to workable numbers.She commented that no kill would be the future, but not at this time.She said they could increase the size of LCARA and write grants and use the money to find foster and rescue homes.She commented that the problem would start to be alleviated instead of making personal attacks against those who are trying to do something.She indicated that Springfield has no program with LCARA.She wanted Springfield to put money in to help LCARA with itís spay and neuter program.

 

Flo Byrne, Eugene, heard proposals would be revenue neutral to the County.She sent the Board a letter in February that summarized her research.She said her information actually showed that no kill is revenue enhancing.She urged the Board to approve Option C that will get them started in the direction of no kill, instead of looking at it at costing money; she suggested staff look at the possibility that it could increase money.

 

Susan Rodelski, stated she volunteered at Greenhill and for SARA.She said she did foster care for puppies.She commented that death is horrible.She stated there are many people in the area who are opposed to killing animals.She recommended doing anything they could to get animals adopted.She said they have to take extreme measures to make sure they have a reputation in providing care for all of the animals.

 

Lise Stewart, Eugene, indicated this fall she tried using a no kill shelter for a cat.She reported that she called no kill shelters in Albany in Portland and there was no room.She was told by the shelter in Portland to keep calling because a no kill shelter will take the animal only if there is room.She was concerned because a no kill shelter doesnít really provide service for all animals.

 

Kimberly Wylde, Junction City, said they have to do something with animals besides killing.She said they have to protect those who cannot protect themselves.She stated there should be fines for people who donít neuter animals.

 

Marnie McCammon, said she met volunteers at LCARA.She believed the Board would do the right thing and support Option C.

 

Ann Jenson, Eugene, urged the Board to vote for Option C and implement it as quickly as possible.†† She thought they could expand the capacity of LCARA by using volunteers when there are more animals than space, without any capital investment that doesnít take away from the unions.She commented that Option C provides structure to get change started where others do not.

 

Carol Titus, Eugene, commented that Option C is the strongest step they could take to open eyes and hearts.She said she had seen an outpouring of the community.She thought Option C was the way to go.She didnít think the Board would be faced with Option C because the community is there to help.

 

Liesl Wilheart, Eugene, stated she runs a pit bull rescue.She supports LCARA as staff is supportive and they donít want to euthanize animals.She said with adoptive animals, they talk about healthy, happy, socialized animals but few people will adopt pit bulls.She indicated the pit bull rescues all over the country are full, as well as the shelters.She said they become storage facilities for that particular breed.She thought the resolution was a good philosophy and a good place to start.She commented that the problem was never going to get better until they stop producing so many animals that are adoptable.She thought that most of the dogs that go through LCARA are pit bulls and pit bull mixes and people walk by them.She asked what they are going to do with those adoptable animals that no one will adopt.She stated that they need to encourage people to spay and neuter and put disincentive on breeding highly unadoptable dogs.She didnít think this addressed the fundamental problem of breeding.She wondered what would happen to the pit bills.

 

Debbie McNamara, Dexter, stated she set up a data base for lost animals.She indicated that twice a week volunteers check impounded animals against the list to see if it could be someoneís lost pet and the volunteer would let them know their pet might be at LCARA.She indicated hers was one of the volunteer run programs that could successfully partner with staff positions to help the animals at LCARA.She commented that no one is asking for the shelter to become no kill overnight.She asked that every animal be given every chance for rescue and adoption before the decision is made to euthanize.†† She asked that rational policies and guidelines be established to accomplish the goal.She said they are asking for the citizens of the community to be allowed to participate in the care of unwanted and abandoned animals.She said if the no kill resolution is passed and implemented; volunteers will be coming out to help.She urged the Board to approve Option C.

 

Diana Robertson, Eugene, thought everyone was on the same page.She said they are asking for a philosophy with accountability and timelines that would ensure that every opportunity was given for all animals that are adoptable or medically or behaviorally treatable animals at LCARA within the community resources. She said it comes down to honesty, accountability and transparency.She commented that the shelter has had to do things they didnít want to do.She said it was important the shelter opens its doors and is accountable to the community that supports it.††She said it is not about a no kill shelter, it is about adopting a no kill philosophy.She said that Wellington had stated if he were to get clear direction from the Board of Commissioners, he would be more than happy to institute more of the programs in accord with adoptable and treatable animals.

 

Virginia Jurasevich, Eugene, commented that the attack on LCARA was unreasonable.She stated she volunteered at LCARA.She saw how hard they workers were and how caring and dedicated they were.She indicated she is a public employee and the staff at LCARA work harder than anyone she had seen.She thought the pet population needed to get under control through fixing animals.She supported a no kill philosophy but didnít know if they were there yet.

 

Mishka Solen, Eugene was in support of Option C.He thought they needed to implement more structure and that is why he supported the measure.He said he had volunteered at LCARA and they need a more compassionate approach to the pet population in the County.He believed groups would get behind a program if there were more money. He said budget constraints tend to be a smokescreen.He thought LCARA could have a large facility and the problems would still be the same without a structural change.

 

Jennifer Dumont Biglan, supported Option C, but there were some things she didnít agree with.She stated that she currently owns a dog and cat training and behavior modification business and she works with problem dogs on a daily basis.She came from San Diego where they had a no kill animal control facility.She said they achieved it from successful relationships with rescues and volunteers.She added they also had a large facility that was built.She said they served over 3 million residents in San Diego.She believed it would be difficult to adopt some of the resolutions, but they have the resources within the community to take steps in that direction.She stated there are animals that do need to be euthanized.She believed they were killing too many animals and there are resources to not do that.She thought having a resolution could move them in a better direction and she said they need to support LCARA.She worked with Wellington and his staff and she said they have been wonderful.

 

Scott Bartlett, Eugene, thought there was room for improvement at LCARA to incorporate new innovations to make a good agency.He said they know resources are a problem and that LCARA and Greenhill donít have enough space and they euthanize animals for space.He stated that $14,000 per year is spent to take dead carcasses of dogs and cats from LCARA.He disagreed with Option C causing an enhanced budget.He said there are caveats that state no additional fees will be allowed or additional staff would be used. He said they could clean Option C up if there were things that were unmanageable.He wanted the Board to double the kennel space so when they have an influx they donít force Wellingtonís staff to make life and death decisions.He said there needs to be more accountability and structural oversight.He thought they could do better.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Stewart closed the Public Hearing.

 

Fleenor thanked everyone for giving testimony.He agreed that Lane County deserves something better.He said this is what they are going to be deliberating on and he hoped they would have a positive conclusion.He said that Option C is not about LCARA, management or staff; it is about the policies and procedures they have allowed to continue.He said they need to go back as a community and reflect upon what it is they want the community to be and what they want their animal shelter to be like tomorrow, ten years, or thirty years from now.He said it is not an attack against LCARA in any way. He said that Option C does not prohibit the killing of animals due to lack of resources.He noted the section Called Holding Times (copy in file) stated they are very clear that they will hold animals as long as they have resources available.He said they are realistic.He said there are times where they will have to kill animals because of lack of resources or sometimes because of lack of spaces.He stated they are not naive; they understand there is a situation that will require the killing of animals.He added it is not just about a no kill philosophy, it is an enhanced spay, neuter and adoption program.He commented that it is not just a no kill philosophy; it is the all encompassing holistic approach to animal welfare care and control.He stated this is about creating a transparent positive and open process that will attract even more resources and volunteers.He agreed with the citizens that if they create a positive environment, they will see more volunteerism, more resources come to them and it will be a self-fulfilling, self-promoting, self-creating cycle.He commented that it would continue to improve, not continue to erode.He wasnít sure what to do about breeds like pit bulls as it is a social problem and education might be the best way to handle it.He noted there were educational components in the board order.He said this was a good first step.He said they need an oversight committee that will work with the administrator. He said they need accountability and measurable goals and Option C provides that.He stated he takes personal responsibility for what goes on in LCARA.He commented that it was not about other individuals, it was about being a leader and making good sound decisions.He wanted to adopt Option C, with whatever modifications the other commissioners require, but they needed to move forward.

 

Dwyer wanted to be sensitive to the fact there are wonderful people who work at LCARA.He said they have contracts with the employee associations and they do have legitimate concerns about volunteers.He commented that perception to some people is reality.He thought they could do better.He said they tried to get resources in the past for LCARA, but to no avail. With regard to the goals, he thought they were good regarding direction giving.He didnít want an outside party micromanaging the governmentís resources and telling them what to do.He added that LCARA is regulatory in nature.He commented that there was no excuse to kill an animal that is otherwise rehabitable or adoptable and they should make every effort not to kill.He stated he went through the resolution and was committed toward a goal.He wanted to make progress without impugning the integrity of any staff person or group.He said they need to move forward with a collaborative basis.He said they have rules and regulations for a purpose and if there are some that arenít working, they need to work on fixing them.He said they have the publicís interest at heart by managing the budget and they have to balance it.He supported working on guidelines or a mission statement to give Mike Wellington, LCARA Director.He said if they are going to have volunteers, they will need a volunteer coordinator.He thought there was room to work together.

 

Green asked Fleenor if they ever considered an SPCA, to establish a non-profit and have the type of facility and shelter they desire versus changing the existing regulatory facility they have.

 

Fleenor indicated they currently have a relationship with Greenhill in transferring certain adoptable dogs to them when they have reached capacity.

 

Green asked what action needed to be taken when some dogs have been held past 35 days.He said they had heard that after three to five days dogs are killed.He asked who would have the ultimate responsibility of taking the dog that had not been adopted.He thought it was misleading if they say no kill and they would have to kill due to lack of space.

 

Dwyer thought that would be dealt with using the community and adoption and breed associations and moving the animals around using the market techniques.He commented that if they put an animal on peopleís conscience, they could increase the adopting of animals.

 

Fleenor indicated they are asking LCARA to provide 48 hour notice before a death sentence is imposed so the animal rescue people could activate their system.He said in many instances they make the decision on the day they kill the animal.He said it wasnít giving the animal rescue people sufficient time to engage.He said they were asking for a more deliberative slow process that would allow the adoption of otherwise healthy animals.He said if other animals come in that are more adoptable, they might have to kill the animals that have been there for 35 days.He said they have to give animals as much of an opportunity to be adopted, but at a certain point in time they are not going to be a warehouse resource for animals.He said animals will be killed based upon resource availability.

 

Green stated Fleenor was stating that now, but it wasnít what was said earlier.He asked where the facility is on the list to expand.

 

Dwyer said they brought out one of the state of the art architects that designs animal shelters.They had meetings with him and he spent a couple of days in Eugene and provided some estimates and design standards about building a new facility.He said the estimate was $175 per square foot, for a cost of $5.6 million for a 22,000 square foot facility.He said he would love to build it but he didnít know where the money would come from.

 

Green said the resolution discusses longer shelter hours.He asked if they would add up to 80 hours per employee.He commented that it sounded like they were asking for more hours of operation.

 

Fleenor indicated that it should be revised, as they were not looking to extend or expand hours.

 

Green wanted to expand shelter hours but commented that there was a cost.

 

Fleenor noted that ďexpandedĒ should be changed to ďrevise.Ē

 

Green thought a volunteer coordinator would be an additional cost.He said on line 10 of page 3, it talks aboutbehavior testing.He asked if that wasnít already being done.

 

Fleenor said it is happening but not on a consistent basis.He said it has to do with notification of the rescue agencies in a timely manner.Fleenor explained whenever they pick an animal up off the street; an animal may behave in an aggressive manner.He said they canít tell right a way, it is contingent upon a two or three day holding period to let the animal calm down.

 

Mike Wellington, LCARA, indicated the animal is evaluated by the officer who picks it up in the field and it is situational.He said they do a food temperament test that is taken into consideration.He indicated prior to anything being agreed upon with killing or euthanasia, all staff has input.

 

Green asked what the intent of the programs was.

 

Scott Bartlett said the intent was to draw from the volunteer communities.He added if you give them two or three weeks in a foster network, they could convert the dog to a readily adoptable dog.He added when there are openings in LCARA; the dogs could be segued back.He said that would be where the foster network would take place for available volunteers to cultivate a foster network.He said it would relieve stress on cramped or overcrowded kennels.He noted the cost was $500,000 to add 30 kennels.He thought another option was to not build a new shelter, but add 30 kennels, even if they are not top of the line.

 

Green asked if these programs were taking place currently at LCARA.

 

Bartlett indicated Wellington had accommodated volunteers and he has worked with rescue groups.He added there were some frustrations and disappointment.Bartlett commented that for the past three years, there is more volunteer interaction with LCARA.He thought Wellington, Rochelle Jones and Tom Howard at LCARA could supervise the volunteers if there was a consistent and quality supply of good volunteers.He said if the volunteers donít show up, the onus will be on them and not the bargaining unit staff.

 

Stewart commented that when he came to Lane County two years ago and took the orientation at LCARA, he was concerned with the condition of the facility.He noted that yesterday he and Green toured the facility, without letting anyone know they were going to come out.He was pleasantly surprised with what he saw.He saw improvement with the facility.He thought some kennels were so clean; you could eat off the floor.He saw families looking for animals. He thought LCARA was doing a great job. Stewart commented that he wasnít afraid to try something new.He had concerns on some of the possible outcomes with the adoption of this policy.He thought they could be to a point where they couldnít take more animals and people could be turned away and he didnít want to see that happen.He said they are a regulatory authority to protect the citizens to bring animals in that are being neglected or abused.He asked if they would have to forego some work that is taking place now because they would be operating LCARA differently.

 

Fleenor said those things need to be addressed on an ongoing basis to make sure they donít get into a position where they are not doing the duty they were intended to do.He commented that if they donít have the money, they wonít do some of the things.He didnít want to be in a position where they adopted something that implies to someone it is a no kill and gives them the right or the ability to come in and second guess every decision that is made and put their employees in a bad position.He would be concerned if there was a new hire making decisions on what to do, but he doesnít see that.He was confident people were making good decisions.He said those were concerns he wanted to monitor if they were going to move forward with this to make sure they donít see those things happen.He wants to see the facility continue to improve and get better if they are going to move forward.

 

Sorenson was glad they heard expressions of support for moving toward a no kill philosophy. He viewed that as a positive thing.He thought it was positive to keep working on the issue.He wanted the reference to their bargaining unit contracts that protect the contract for rights of the bargaining unit as well as the rights of management.He thought they needed to make it clear they donít intend on violating that contract.He thought it is terrible in Lane County that they have so many animal deaths.He said the County Administrator said they probably will be getting a budget recommendation that will involve a cut of a one-half kennel technician in the proposed budget.†† He wanted to see the Budget Committee and the Board put a greater emphasis on the reduction of management positions instead of the people working in the kennel technical positions.He wanted to see them keep working on this and invite the people who are the most interested to offer their time.

 

Dwyer thought they could give direction.He added there was a lot of apprehension present.He said they talked about not liking advisory committees.He thought they should each appoint a representative to represent the Board and the committee collectively pick two for a total of seven.He thought that would be a good process to bring a group of people together to see what policies they could implement that would increase and work toward their goal of no kill.††

 

Stewart supported Dwyerís suggestion of putting together an advisory committee.

 

Dwyer wanted to call it the Implementation Task Force.

 

Green asked if the proposal implied they have consensus on a no kill philosophy.

 

Dwyer thought that any time they could prevent the death of an adoptable animal that might be adoptable through other mechanisms: through breed associations, volunteers or foster care, then as far as practical, they need to do it.

 

Green said it is misleading.He still wanted the Implementation Task Force to address the language.

 

Green indicated whether they reflected his views or not, he would appoint the person.He said they need to get someone who was willing to do the work and bring some skills to the table.He said they were just given a document from the Humane Society of the United States about how misleading the policy is.He said it is not just his opinion, it is the opinion of another group.He added while they may not be involved in the day-to-day operations, he still thinks it is a valid argument. He asked if this task force would look at additional regulatory issues around ownership.He asked how the animals end up at LCARA.

 

Dwyer said it would not be his goal to get them involved in the regulatory aspect of it at this time.

 

Green said it will need to be addressed because the animals will still continue to come.

 

Dwyer agreed.

 

Van Vactor said normally when the Board appoints a task force, they have a charge.He said Dwyer got close to what the goals and objectives were.He thought as a first cut they would summarize the language so they could work on the charge.

 

Dwyer hoped they would get started with a work group.He said they need to get the names in as soon as possible so they could meet and pick the other two members and work with the charge.

 

Stewart asked the Board if they were in agreement with the direction.

 

Green asked about the time frame.

 

Dwyer hoped within the next couple of weeks they would each give their representative and they would meet and pick two and they would formulate the charge for them.He said most of the information is encompassed in the three resolutions.He said it would come back to the Board in terms of a work plan.

 

Green asked about the time frame for the work of the task force to bring it back to the Board.

 

Dwyer thought 90 days would be a reasonable time for the task force to conclude their work.

 

Sorenson suggested encapsulating the views of the commissioners as they have expressed them today on what the group would do.He thought it needed to be focused on the transition of Lane County to a no kill philosophy.He added the meetings of the task force are public in that it is advisory to the Board of Commissioners.He thought it was important that the part of the charge as indicated in the resolution has to be budget sensitive.He was reluctant to appoint a task force when they had already appointed a task force and received recommendations and hadnít acted on them.He said it would be better to spend more time and get the job done instead of appointing a task force that would make recommendations to the Board.He commented it was not the best way to show action.He thought if that was the direction they were moving, he would rather see movement than have this dropped.

 

Fleenor echoed Sorensonís sentiments and hoped they would have a consensus among the Board that at the end of 90 days, they would do something and it would not be referred back to another task force or delayed any longer.He indicated that they would implement whenever this task force comes back with.

 

Green said they would consider it for implementation.

 

Dwyer wanted to keep focused on the goal and the policies and what they can do specifically to give direction to staff with the consent of everyone and not get into the regulatory issues.He recalled the past task force was half regulatory.He wanted to deal with the kennel operations.

 

Stewart reiterated the direction from the Board was staff would take the comments they have and develop a charge for a task force, working on how they are going to potentially become a no kill, neuter and adopt philosophy at LCARA, with a 90 day charge time.He asked if the charge could come to them next week.

 

Van Vactor indicated the appointments for the task force would come back on May 2.

 

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary