Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ed Boks Dodges Council's Bullet: Reinstates Spay/Neuter Discount Coupons- Zine Calls For Boks To Resign!

(L.A. Times story below)

In a typically dramatic and squirrelly move, Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager, Ed Boks, has today reinstated the program which distributes spay/neuter discount coupons to low income people and to others. His next move? Call Carla Hall at the Times. Right...she's the one who puts a nice-guy filter on all things Boks.

City Council is scheduled to pass a motion on Friday, March 27, 2009 to force him to do just that as well as to report to Council on the matter, and to request that City Controller Laura Chick perform an audit on the Spay/Neuter voucher program.

Boks's bold move was necessary to try to save his skin and his job as the calls for his head on a platter reached fever pitch this week, climaxing with Council member Tony Cardenas and the City's Public Safety Committee (Animal Services is under the authority of the Public Safety committee and the Municipal Codes under which the Department operates are under Section V PUBLIC SAFETY AND PROTECTION in the L.A. Municipal Code) SLAMMING Boks's head to the mat in submission and expressing, under no uncertain terms that they are weary of his antics, his wasting of the Committee's time and that of Council and his rogue deviation from the direct and popular (though un-executed) Mayoral mandate to achieve a "No Kill" Solution to the City's animal issues . Recently, kill numbers and intake numbers for dogs and cats have skyrocketed. Although Council did order Boks's to cut $300,000 from his 2008-2009 expenditures, they DID NOT authorize an end to the coupon program , nor are they pleased with his lame-brained unilateral action to end the program. Last week, Boks had abruptly announced a "halt" to the program without consulting either the Animal Services Board of Commissioners (theoretically but not in practice, the authority over Ed Boks and the Department of Animal Services) OR the Spay/Neuter Advisory Committee who was just about to release a report on the program.

Here is Carla Hall's (Ed's "softball" mouthpiece at the Times) account of today's decision:

From the Los Angeles Times:

L.A. animal services reinstates free sterilization services

Department head Ed Boks reverses his decision to suspend the program for low-income pet owners, a move that prompts more criticism of his management.
By Carla Hall

March 26, 2009

The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services has reinstated its program to give low-income residents vouchers for free spaying and neutering of their pets, the department's general manager, Ed Boks, announced Wednesday.

But Boks' reversal of his decision to suspend the program two weeks ago, which prompted an outcry from animal welfare advocates and members of the Los Angeles City Council, did not placate one council member who is suggesting he resign.

Los Angeles discontinues spay-neuter vouchers

"I think it's time for Mr. Boks to find another place to work," Councilman Dennis Zine said. "It's been a continuing saga of him and his mismanagement."

Zine said Boks' recent actions were part of a list of decisions over the last few years that the councilman believed were ill-conceived.

Boks, who can be fired only by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said e-mails from the public and from animal welfare advocates praised his reversal. He added, "I stand ready and willing to meet with Dennis Zine any time, any place to help move the department forward. This has been an open invitation for well over a year."

Boks said he cut off vouchers for free sterilizations only as a last resort to cope with his department's budget shortfall. On Monday, council members excoriated him for not seeking the advice of the council or the advisory bodies to Boks' department before suspending a program that helps low-income residents comply with the city's ordinance requiring residents to spay and neuter their pets.

"You don't make a rash decision that undermines our spay and neuter program," Zine said. "The program is designed to keep animals alive and not be killed. And many low-income families want to comply but don't have enough money."

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