Humane Society

The Tribune ran an article yesterday about the Humane Society. Personally, when the Humane Society struck its deal with the City, that pretty much ended it for me. When one of the players stops complaining, well, I am not going to complain for them.

I did, however, have an email forwarded to me. It was represented to me that the author is former member of the HSCC Board, who now independently deals with dog placements for adoptions on their own, not through the HSCC or shelter:

"did you read the Montana section today? article about how smooth operations are at the shelter, blah blah. but the last paragraph notes that they need kitten food and volunteers to walk dogs. Also, "An account has been set up for donations." How can the city ask for donations? Since when are our citizens required to donate to the city. Hmm, seems they weren't prepared to take over. But hey< they can ignore the bid for $186,000 and let the high bidder at $516,000 take over .... and they still are asking for donations. The unmitigated gall. Somebody should mention this on the electric city web log. if only I knew someone who was into that.


I must admit that I did think it was unusual for the City to be seeking "donations."

Conflict Alert: I should let you know that I know Officer Lockerby, like him, and do not think he is doing anything wrong. Based on what I know of him, it looks like he has been given a task and is trying to do the best job he possibly can. And, based on my experience with him, that will be likely be a pretty darn good job.


Anonymous said...

I agree, Lockerby didn't engineer this, he's not doing anything but his job. Look higher. The city gave away 1.4 million, put through a tax increase and now is asking for donations. GREAT fiscal responsibility, GREAT planning, GREAT mess. Thank you Lawton, Stebbins, Commissioners, Grove and all the others who put this in place.

Anonymous said...

No plan, where have we hear that before?

Fire, ready, aim.

What else can this mayor muck up before being shown the exit door in November?

WolfPack said...

What was the HSCC operating budget? The contracted rate with the city is clear but they also collected fees, fines and donations didn’t they? How can we fairly evaluate the PD $516K bid, which I assume contains no offsetting revenue streams, with the HSCC $186K bid which is supplemented by donation and fee collection? Does the GF community really save anything if the shelter is funded by donation verses taxes; is it not a zero sum game? The real benefit of the HSCC running the shelter is that we encourage volunteers to do something that they love to do and they provide a service we need. Is the city taking donations for the shelter any different then taking donations for parks? If so can I get my park donations back?

This is another one of those situations where the city (Lawton) does the right thing but in the wrong way. Clearly HSCC is/was having problems and now has some breathing room to correct them, but didn’t need the public black eye. Why is the emailer an ex-board member, aren’t there 6 openings? Talk about the irony of people complaining and not stepping up to the plate.

Anonymous said...

How can the city take donations if it's not a non-profit?

Anonymous said...

By "offsetting revenue streams" I assume you're referring to the HSCC owned animal control vehicles, which it is currently loaning the use of to the city. The in-shelter equipment/kennels, etc., which HSCC is currently loaning to the city. The soft-ware for licensing animals, which HSCC is currently loaning to the city. All these are owned by the HSCC and purchased by them. Once the city took over Animal Control it also took over fine, fees and collections. As for that Board member, health was an issue for retirement after several years of service. HSCC has no breathing room, it's not there. And IF the HSCC had collected $330K annually in donations, the difference between the two bids, this would be a non-issue. SO

GeeGuy said...

As I said, this really isn't 'my' issue. But I don't follow your logic, Wolfpack. Why do you assume that HSCC collected fees and fines, but that the City won't?

Anonymous said...

And yet another issue that our "peoples' mayor" refuses to step forward and talk about on the blogs that helped her get elected.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong, the mayor spoke about it when she said, "Take her away" and had the cops grab Overfield.

WolfPack said...

Geeguy- You got or I made my point exactly backwards. The city will collect fees but they won’t go directly to the PD. Most of the comments talk as if the HSCC operates on a $186K Budget and contrast it to a $516K PD Budget. I assume the PD bid is all expenses with no offsetting with fee revenues or donations which would go to the general fund. There may still be a significant spread but continuing to compare $186K to $516K is just plain misleading. Since all fees, donations and taxes come from the citizens of GF what matters at the end of the day is the total spent and that animals are humanely cared for.

Anonymous said...

Another example of giving up power to liberal democrats who are steeped in socialist philosophy.

Give up. It is hopeless. Resistence is futile.

GeeGuy said...

Wolfpack-It is not "plain misleading." It is possibly misleading.

Unless you have seen the two bids and are sure of what you speak.

WolfPack said...

Geeguy-The question about what the expected revenue would be if the PD took over was put to Lawton at the July 3 Commissioners meeting. He said he didn't know the answer because the city didn't have access to the HSCC books but the implication was that the PD's bid didn't include spending any fee money. He should have had an estimate but that is standard Lawton modus operandi. I believe the bids are sealed until one is accepted, which hasn't happened yet, so I have no hard proof. Does anyone stating the opposite have any proof?

Anonymous said...

Here are facts:
Grove & Stebbins sit on the Bid Review & Award committee(s) (city records)

June 13th, Jolley notes from work session corroborated by others in attendance:
"Police Chief made a bid to run the shelter."
Diane JK, "Why don't we appoint 5 new people?"
Mayor, ...require the "resignation of the whole Board."
(Notes) "Police made a proposal along with the Humane Society, but the city gave the proposal of the HSCC to the Police Chief, Corky Grove to critique & tell the city in writing how they compared."
Mayor, "I know a non-profit group but they are not yet up to running the new shelter."

June 19th, Overfield reads:
"The bid award is co-opted and possible already predetermined by an unseen committee interested in assuring the Foundation complete control and the city the ability to circumvent or ignore actual bid and awarding procedures...the city can then pass a bond onto the public to underwrite the Foundation's cost in running the new shelter."

July 1, Tribune article:
"...city officials said they were only assuming animal control duties from the Humane Society..."
J. Lawton, "...or it's possible a new contractor will emerge to take over animal control services."

July 2, e-mail copy on this site:
Mayor: "The HSCC board is using donated funds to off-set meeting their contractual agreement with the City to provide animal control services."

July 6 (not certain of exact date):
Power-point presentation by the Animal Foundation of GF to HSCC and potential HSCC new board members about merging two entities in toto (that would be absorbing ALL assets of the HSCC and savings of a non-profit entity). It was strongly suggested by HSCC attendees to NOT acquiesce to this offer as it would terminate the HSCC as an individual entity.

July 19/20:
City requests donations to the shelter. Under Montana Law (Legal Opinion 2001-09) the city is allowed to "(7) solicit and accept bequests, donations, or grants of money,property, services, or other advantages and comply with any condition that is not contrary to the public interest; (emphasis added)" However, it is usual in these circumstances of land,water rights, etc., to vote at a public meeting to accept these "gifts". IF, they are monetary donations from a private citizen at a small level, the money usually goes into the general fund, UNLESS a specific non-profit entity is established to accept such donations, i.e., historic bldg preservation. We have NO SUCH THING here in GF for the shelter. Where WILL the money go?

The city is NOW doing what the mayor complained of on July 2nd. I, PERSONALLY, believe that the Police bid of $500K was intended to pay a portion of that to a sub-contractor to run animal control with the remaining money to be in the pocket of the PD.

I, PERSONALLY, believe that the city and PD intended to take over the HSCC and take control of all physical assets including the AC vehicles and soft-ware which the HSCC purchased in order to do the licensing, fee collections, etc. in a coup for themselves or another entity, thinking they would get it all for nothing. I, PERSONALLY, believe the city believed it could get away with this as it has gotten away with it on other issues (coal plant?????). I, personally, hate this shell game. SO

Anonymous said...

Where is the Tribune reporting on this?

Better yet, how about a new independent newspaper in town?

I'm thinking its time to give 60 minutes a call. It would be great PR for the city.

Anonymous said...

Why not call Fox News? - William LaJuenese (sp) does a lot of reporting on the plight of the west.