It was a very busy day at City Hall with many issues needing to be heard. As a result, our item (Item 84: Animal Code Amendments) did not come up until about 4:30 PM. We are so grateful to everyone who emailed the council members and registered support at City Hall, and we are especially grateful to the item’s sponsor, Council Members Leslie Pool, Ann Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, and Mayor Adler. We are also very appreciative of Council Member Alison Alter’s support of this item throughout the day.
When the item came up, there was an immediate motion to postpone due to some council offices not feeling prepared to discuss. Thankfully, after Council Member Pool reminded each office how long the item had been posted, and Council Member Tovo asked what the other offices hoped to gain by more time, there was a majority who voted to hear the item. After the third or fourth citizen speaker, however, another council member stated they would move their vote from “hear today” to “postpone”. At that point, the Council ended public discussion and postponed until Oct 17th.
Obviously, this is disappointing but overall it is not terrible. There is a date for it to be heard which addresses my main concern that if not heard today, it might fail to get on any agenda in the future.
The opposition appears to be concentrated around four things. Outlined below are the opposition points and our response:
At the end of the day, it is clear that we need to be more direct in this request to Council. The only intent of this code amendment is to document what is currently, or very recently has been, the internal processes of the city. The only exception is the broadened scope of the Animal Advisory Commission to include oversight of the city’s Animal Code, which is a no-brainer as they already oversee compliance with state codes.
Don Bland, the new Chief Animal Services Officer, is fully supportive of this measure being passed and has worked with the Council offices to make sure that the amendments make sense at his organization. We applaud his common sense and forward thinking. This is not about him, it is about our future.
Because we have essentially nothing codified now, not even the formula for how we calculate the city’s live release rate that is part of the 95 percent resolution, we are leaving the City’s No Kill Resolution at risk. It is imperative that the first step of codifying existing processes be taken immediately. Codify now, add later!
Your help is very much needed! Sign up here to be informed on how you can register your support for these amendments for Oct 17th council meeting.