Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Board Report Oct., 26, 2010

Yeah, I went... again. Here's what happened, if anyone cares:

The Board (they keep calling it a "Commission" but it ain't--more on that later) unanimously OVERTURNED a ruling by former interim General Manager to revoke the dog licenses (they'd have to leave the city) of a particular family with history of 1) having too many dogs (5) and 2) letting them run loose and "attack" the neighbors. In this setting, "attack" meant to approach "excitedly" as Melanie Ramsayer put it. So, even with their shoddy record of obeying the law and their apparent lax attitude toward previous warnings, these people get to keep their dogs (hear bitterness?).

If anyone doubted that a previously Barth-proposed appeal process reduced to the "General Manager or designee" "reviewing" a case was a recipe for unfairness and bias, you should have just seen Barth feverishly scrambling through papers and codes, trying to find anything to nail the appellants with, once it became obvious that the Board was not going to uphold the GM's decision to revoke these 3 dog licenses. Bias? Sure, she wanted these people punished and she was ready to banish 3 senior or disabled dogs to ...the trash can. She finally found her remedy and demanded that the Board include a $250 code-imposed "fee" to have their dog licenses reissued. No, nobody mentioned that it's supposed to be $250 per license. We won't mention it either.

Elections (actually, "appointments")

Ruthanne Secunda was elected to the Vice President's office, but to appease her distaste for appeal hearings, which are normally the responsibility of the VP, an "appeals commissioner" was appointed immediately to take the flack and the responsibility for screening appeals, etc. That very able Commissioner is attorney Terri Macellero. That's a good thing. Melanie Ramsayer was elected to a 2nd term as president. Also a good thing, we think. Anyone else think these elections are predetermined? Nah...

Once again, Phyllis Daugherty, the one-person "Animal Issues Movement" decried that the Board's previous endorsement of raising the pet limits (from 3 to 5 of each dogs and cats)--or more specifically, raising the number of animals a "household" may have without requiring a "kennel permit"--will result in a canine Helter Skelter with marauding "pit bulls and other aggressive breeds" running the streets in packs, shedding rivers of blood and eliciting terror and destruction. Daugherty dropped the "N" word ("Nuch" for Carmen Trutanich), putting us on notice that 1) she has Nuch's ear and 2) that Nuch will never go for this. Judging from the number of protests vs. supporting statements on that Council file number 10-0982, she might just be right. Folks, if your for this, you'd better chime in.

During public comment, I ...again... BEGGED/Demanded that the Board follow-up on Stu's Law or what is known around City Hall at Council File 09-1887. It's complicated, but the City Council approved this ordinance over a year ago and sent it to the City Attorney for drafting. THEN, Linda Barth, who had no real boss at that time, hijacked the ordinance --after it was approved--and added on a complete rewriting of the L.A. Municipal Code as it pertains to administrative hearings and appeals for "barking dog" cases and "dangerous animals." Barth measure is stalled in Committee but is very nicely holding up the finalization of Stu's law. Hate that? Write your council member about file 09-1887 and ask that it be passed as adopted by council without delay. This legislation which was purported to be the merciful answer for my dog, Stu's record-breaking confinement of 5 years, is so convoluted now with Barth's gameplaying, that not even Deputy City Attorney Dov Lesel knows what Council approved or didn't approve. Somewhere, that...woman... is chuckling at her own devious masterfulness (our word). That's fine. We hear she's not long for this Department, anyway--but none too soon.

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