Friday, July 23, 2010

The post-Phyllis Daugherty Dept. of Animal Services--Enter: Brenda Barnette

 In response to Ed Muzika's call to "stop" Phyllis Daugherty.

It's almost like we need to teach people how to participate in their government in this town. Why is that? Look at the last mayoral election. Pitiful, yet everyone complains about AV.

What is it about this city that makes people whine but do nothing?

Yes, chances are that no council members will be in their seats when you make your public comment. They're in the back making deals. Still, you must go if you are able. You can get free parking from your council district office with a phone call.

There was a time..oh... 5 years ago...when people besides Phyllis went to Animal Services Commissioners' Board  meetings. At night, on an off campus meeting (4x a year) there might have  be 100 people or more. Even in the daytime there were more than just Phyllis in her regular seat.

People gave up on the Board/Commission (it's a "Board" of Commissioners BTW...not a Commission). They are thought of as a rubber stamp and a lot of times they have been. Conscientious and courageous Commissioners have resigned or been fired for speaking their true opinions and trying to effect real change. Elections for officers are often fixed by the Mayor's office.

So why participate? Because only you can change it. I can't even count the number of times I have moved the Board or the Department to submit to the law. I was loud--persistent. They couldn't take it anymore and gave in.  Today, the last 5 months of meeting minutes were posted on the Board's LAAS page. Why? Because I demanded it...openly. Why were they withheld for so long when they had been approved a long time ago? Guess. The Secretary forgot? No. By design. Whose design? Guess.

Look at the city clerk's site. Search "animal." See how much LAAS legislation has been slammed through which you probably know nothing about since Boks left. Who did this? Kathy Davis? The Board?

Don't call Phyllis or email her or harass her. She's excercising her rights from her one-person "movement." The only way to defeat her...if that's your to play the same game and outnumber her and out-argue her. These council members get antsy when the public shows up and get more "reasonable" and fair-minded. Magically. So show up.

Sadly, there are no night Board meetings this year. Budget cuts-- but that suits Linda Barth just fine. I think it's $400 per meeting for security and whatever. I can raise that. Do you think they'll accept it? I'm sure Barnette will like the idea of night meetings. We'll see. There will be changes big and small.

Personally, I'm hoping that Barth's (Phyllis has WAY too much influence over Barth) head rolls right over to another Department. Anybody?
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  1. This is so true. One problem is that most people who care about animals but aren't specifically involved in the humane community don't even know about the commission, or that they can attend meetings (not that many of them would attend, but I'm sure some would with a little encouragement and direction). I think the meetings should be publicized much more widely and people encouraged more to attend. I don't have a huge mailing list, but I think I'll try it and see what happens. (of course, another problem is that the agenda isn't posted until very shortly before the meeting).

  2. Yes. By law, they only have post the agenda 72 hours prior. Same goes for Council, but they post theirs days before. Needless to say, I've been booted off of all mailing lists so I rarely know what's going on at all.

    The rescue community is so often at war with each other over one thing or another that they don't have time to effect change in government. It's really pitiful.


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