Thursday, May 28, 2009

Board Meeting Report- May 26, 2009; Part I

This meeting was held Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at a library at Western and 39th St.

The need for a change in meeting schedules and venues.

Let me first say the all Animal Services Board meetings should be held in the evening. Attendance at the regular Monday City Hall meetings is always dismal and consists of Phyllis Daugherty (to her credit), Jim Bickhart, the Mayor' and Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director for Gary Michaelson's organization (always looking snappy with great shoes, too); parties to appeal hearings, and sometimes, me. Oh...and Laura Beth Heisen. Cool as we all are, for going to these Monday shindigs, we are not representative of the City of Los Angeles nor are we representative of the concerned-about-animals public and various organizations (Rescues). Putting aside that Gary Michaelson is responsible for Boks coming here, his work and sizeable donations in the area of spay/neuter are commendable. And the Gilbreath outfits and shoes are always a treat.

Even a 6 p.m. meeting is difficult for any working person (or sane person) to attend. This last one was difficult for Secunda and Khero, Commissioner and President, respectively, to attend. Anyone (Ross Pool and Linda Barth) who thinks that 6 p.m. at the height of Los Angeles traffic rush hours is a good time for a meeting is out of their mind. Consider the source. One can only assume that inaccessible meetings are by design. Yes, it's easier for Barth and Pool to leave 221 N. Fig at 5 and arrive at the meeting at 6, but they are the only people for which this is a conventient or accessible meeting time. Yes, I'm paranoid.

So here's my proposition: At least one meeting per month should be held "off campus" (outside City Hall, because they would charge a fortune for a night meeting). City Council meets regularly at the Van Nuys location which is set up for City meetings, with video, audio, etc. I will look into this and see what can be done to allow LAAS to use these facilities. The question has always been cost. On Tuesday, there was much to do about the limited availability of the meeting venue. "We" had it for 4hours, with that 4 hours beginning at 5:30 for set up. With an appeal, which took nearly an hour (or more) scheduled, this left real meeting time of only 2 hours. Huh?!

Security is required (usually an LAPD officer, at overtime, I'm sure) at a cost that has been estimated at $400 (I stepped out for 5 minutes during Tuesday's meeing and had to convince this LAPD officer that he should let me back into the library. He seemed to think that one could not leave and return to a PUBLIC MEETING. I let him know. He caved and let me in. So cost and venue are the issues. I'm sure that if a vote were taken by the Board, that my proposition would pass. The meetings on Monday's are not convenient for working attorney, Tariq Khero;or for working agent, Ruth Ann Secunda. Okay, Kathy Riordan is not a morning person, so 10:00 a.m. sucks for her, too.

Next, Part II: What happened at the meeting?

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