Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7/27/2010 Meeting Agenda for Los Angeles Animal Services Board


Tuesday July 27, 2010
10:00 A.M.
200 N. Spring St.
Room 1060
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Melanie Ramsayer, President
Irene Ponce,Vice-President
Tariq Khero,
Kathleen Riordan
Ruthanne Secunda

A. Barking Dog Revocation Case Number: BD 093128 WV
Appellant: Cesar Gomez and Margarita Esturban
Complaining Witness: Paulina Frias
Field Operations Supervisor, West Valley Animal Care Center, Lt. Susan Botta
Hearing Coordinator, Department of Animal Services, Ross Pool, Management Analyst II

Comment: This is only the third appeal held this year. Normally, there are about 12-20 or so done in a year. I'm guessing that they are back-logged and not scheduled while the dogs, owners and neighbors wait impatiently for the slow churn that is our government. Last fall, Barth was successful first in barraging the sensitive Commissioners with an avalanche of appeal hearings to determine the fates of dogs "up on charges" for barking or being "dangerous"; and then she  instituted a new ordinance in Oct. '09 which would, if passed:
1 Will strip the Board of the power and duty to adjudicate administrative appeals for dogs.They have had this duty since 1987 with not much whining. Their procedures have not been flawless but it was, when fair, the best hope for a dog owner or complainant short of an expensive legal battle in Superior court over a barking or biting incident/issue.

2. The new ordinance was shoved down the Board's throat on a day when Riordan could not attend, Ramsayer was attending her first meeting and Ponce was just MIA. So Tariq Khero (usually fair), Ruthanne Secunda (hates appeals) and Ramsayer(clueless at the time) allowed Barth to twist their little Board arms into exactly the position  which would put all the power in the GM's hands...i.e. Barth.

3.Stalled in Committee at present, but essentially a lock unless a successful protest is mounted or Brenda Barnette decides that Barth's skulduggery is not the best thing for the animals, the people or the Department.Whether you care or not about barking dog or dangerous dog hearings, you should care about fairness and due process.

4. Barth's new "law" wipes out the 1987 ordinance which gave us due process should our dogs get in a jam and makes a hearing examiner's (read: Animal Control Officer) decision final with only a "file review" by the GM or his/her "designee" (read: Barth). For the council record on this ordinance and also "'Stu's Law" which has become entangled in this ordiance by Barth see HERE.http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=09-1887

NOTE: the 1987 ordinance was the result of many weeks of deliberating by a committee of "experts" charged with writing the ordinance. No committee this time...just "Linda."

A. Annual Election of Commission Officers for 2010-2011
Comment: Ramsayer is out of town. She is sitting president "unanimously" appointed--I mean elected--by last fall--months late but we had to fill the seat left by Quincey and we just can't have Riordan holding office. Can we? Expect no election until Melanie can be here to be re-crowned and nominate her chosen VP: Secunda or (eek!) Ponce again. Tariq wants nothing to do with this after serving as President for nearly 3 years.

B. Approval of the Commission Meeting Minutes for July 13, 2010
Comment: Essentially, a joke on us.  Whereas the "minutes" once actually included a summary of what really happened and who said what, they are now useless and not representative of the meeting proceedings.
Blame Ross Pool who does Barth's bidding and keeps the public (and the rest of City Hall) in the dark as far as what happens at Board meetings. After several terse demands, I just received (and they are now posted) the un-posted, yet long-ago approved minutes from March 2010 to the last approved minutes in June. They are fish wrap and to know what happened at the meetings, one must wade through hours of audio available as MP3 files on the Commission page. Try it, but have snacks and good beverages on hand. It's painful.

C. Oral Report by the Commissioners on Meetings and Events attended

Comment:  One thing is for sure. Tariq Khero will have nothing to report. I don't think he's ever had anything to report. He s on this Board to gain favor with the Mayor and to take up a seat. While he often has sound opinions and decent ideas, he allows himself to be slapped around by Barth and Bickhart. Also painful, but Tariq doesn't seem to mind...when he shows up. If Ramsayer were here, she might talk about her "media event" with Lu Parker's Lu Parker Project at the South L.A. shelter. Having missed this meeting, she won't have to talk about it later. There are some real questions about exactly how turning over the shelter for a whole day to a non-profit buddy came about without Board approval.


Comment:  this is a good thing as we await the arrival of Brenda Barnette. Barth has slammed through enough ordinances, contracts and pet projects to last a lifetime. Hopefully , her lifetime at LAAS is limited.
Board of Animal Services Commission Meeting

Commission Meeting Agenda for July 27, 2010
Page 2

A. Fund Raising (Continued from the February 9th, February 23rd, March 23rd, April 27th, and May 11, May 25 and June 22, and July 13, 2010, Commission Meetings)
Discussion and input from the public on effective and efficient ideas for raising money to supplement funding for Department core responsibilities of greatest financial need, and direction to staff relative to ideas presented.
Comment: huh? again? This is the 10th meeting with this lame item and no resolution or plan. This is a municipal shelter operating from your tax and fee dollars, not a charity. If they want a charity, they can form one like the Police Athletic League or something similar. If they can't care for the animals on their budget they should quit or fire some fat captains.

B. Report and discussion of Activity Statistics for Animal Control Officers, by shelters for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
Comment: might be intersting...if the numbers are real.
Comment: more pablum from Davis and some smiles from the Board. How many cute dogs did we ship out to other cities this time at the expense of the taxpayer for full vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries?

5. PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD - (Comments from the public on items of public interest within the Board’s subject matter jurisdiction and on items not on the Agenda.)

Comment:  The Phyllis Daugherty show because you didn't show up along with her comments during all of the above. Chances are she will thank some officer for their service or maybe she will thank Davis and Barth for holding the fort...if you can call it that. Maybe there will be a cake for Kathy Davis as this should be her last meeting as Interim General Manager. Then she will disappear from whence she came into the woodwork on a near $200K salary.

Public Comments: The Brown Act prohibits the Board and staff from responding to the speakers' comments. Some of the matters raised in public comment may appear on a future agenda.
Comment: This is a god-damned lie and it may take a court order to remove it. Don't dare me.
A. Additions to, and prioritizing the list of pending reports and future agenda items.
This is when the Commssioners ask for agenda items that never see the light of day. this should be the last time this happens as I have hopes that Barnette will seek the board's help without interference by Barth...if she's still around.
Comment:prediction: 11:50 a.m. depending on when Tariq shows up so that the meeting can begin.
Next Commission Meeting is scheduled for 10:00 A.M., August 10, 2010, Los Angeles City Hall, Room 1060, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012.
Comment: Be there, send a public comment or shut the hell up.  Whoops, Barnette still not in office. Put the cake back in the freezer.

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