Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ballard Cans Chairman Of Animal Control Advisory Board

Gee, I wish Mayor Greg Ballard would meddle in the affairs of the CIB and can a few people there for gross fiscal mismanagement like he is meddling with the Indianapolis Animal Control & Care agency. Yesterday, Mayor Ballard sacked the chairman of the agency's advisory board, Warren Paititz, who warns the community that the Mayor's action is just a prelude to the firing of the agency director, Douglas Rae, who has been on the job since the first of the year trying to clean up the cesspool of political cronyism that has plagued the agency for years. The Mayor's office didn't believe Paititz focused enough attention on catching stray dogs. "We want their function to be out in the neighborhood protecting our citizens," Paul Okeson, the mayor's chief of staff, told the Star's Heather Gillers. "Residents have long complained about the time it takes to catch stray dogs -- sometimes days," Gillers reports. Paititz had been appointed by Ballard and had served for about a year.

Greg Brush, the CEO of Feral Bureau of Indiana, Inc., lashed out at Mayor Ballard's decision. "[I]t seems likely that the city plans to massively gut IACC as it exists today, and erase progress toward the vision of a more humane shelter as championed by Rae," Brush said. "While it was in the news this evening that the mayor is creating an education program for bike path awareness, in his 1-3/4 years in office, he has yet to publicly comment on the operation of the city's shelter, abuse of the animals at the shelter that occurred in 2008, or subsequent hiring of Rae by former public safety Director Scott Newman," Brush continued. "It seems a sad, but very telling demonstration of the callous disregard by the Ballard administration for the tens of thousands of lives of animals that pass through the city shelter, choosing instead to hide behind unproven claims that the public is less safe from animals than a year ago."

Brush complained that a junior level staffer in the Mayor's office called and dismissed Paititz over the telephone only two hours before the regularly-scheduled monthly advisory board meeting, which was subsequently cancelled by the Mayor's office at the last minute. The advisory board is required by city ordinance to meet on a monthly basis.


jabberdoodle said...

I don't understand why they went after the Board member. If they want Rae fired, wouldn't they just ask Renner to do it?

If Mayor Ballard were truly concerned about the stray dog issue, why wouldn't he boost the ACC budget a bit. Surely humane treatment of the animals has value to this community as well as catching strays.

By the way, the article also mentions that dog bites were down and responses to calls reporting strays went up the first 6 months of this year over last. So, Rae is doing something right.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I don't think when boards are supposed to be rubber stamps of the mayor or the council...whoever appoints those people. It sounds like Ballard's people were upset the chairman wouldn't be a rubberstamp and he got canned.

artfuggins said...

The article didnt mention in the number of "adoptions" fromt he last month that 29 of the adopted dogs died of the Parvo epidemic that is raging throughout Animal Care and control. Doug Rae has been a diaster for both animals and public safety. Warren Patitz was only on an advisory committee but tried to function as if he were on a governing committee.