To: Assistant County Counsel Morf:
To: County Chair Jeff Cogen
I learned by calling the MCAS message center on Friday that John Rowton and Legal Aide Officer Michelle Luckey are both gone from the agency until May 29 on business likely involving their second career as companion dog breeders and dog show fanciers,the most usual reason. I called because I couldn’t understand why the records had gone missing. There was no notice to me about why records were not forthcoming as requested, a notice sought in every public records order. I had no idea why the routine records ordered were just ignored: the reason was vacation. This has became a significant problem (under Mr. Oswald’s regime). No coverage during staff absence was planned even though the concern has been addressed many times before. When records are sent too late to help those in need, our offers of assistance are rendered futile. MCAS does not offer resources or help. A senior management administrative staff person put it this way: “When we give them deadlines, they (the public) hustle their bottoms.” No, the poor and low income parties don’t. When they have nothing, giving them “deadlines” causes stress, anxiety, helplessness and when their companion dogs are killed: anguish. They don’t have resources. We offer this out of pocket. Many, if not most, of the hapless animals at MCAS belong to persons down on their luck, who are homeless, poor, or lost their homes to foreclosure. The effects of that continue in a poor economy and are borne by helpless animals. We try to assist them because their animals shouldn’t become sacrifices to misfortune. Why do you stand in the way?
Officer Wommack was called in at the last minute to process records when I kept noting there must be one, (a problem) and one can hardly blame him for his unfamiliarity with this public records task. This isn’t his job and he wasn’t taught, just dragooned. It does not require an officer’s skill because it is clerical in nature. But the effect is the same, receiving the needed associated records too late to help completely defeats the purpose of what we do: to help others in distress or need. When the physical inventory list of impounded dogs is sent Thursday May 17, 2012 and the time sensitive associated records needed to contact families and dogs in need are forwarded Saturday, May 19. The initial lag of three days at the weekend followed by an additional delay, as it is the weekend, means the soonest mail offering resources and help can be delivered is Tuesday, May 22, a full 6 days after the inventory was provided. Killing at MCAS occurs very efficiently. Animals are processed, and disposed of rapidly depending upon owner or stray status. Strays have 3 days; owned dogs about 5. Offers of help or finding rescue resources for strays, six days after initial intake impound means most have been disposed of already. Those needing help won’t get any.
This isn’t the first time.That is why I know it won’t be corrected. Every request for a meeting with county government is ignored. Every sensible proposed solution is rejected. There is no point in consulting Mr. Oswald. He purposely designed a failed expensive public records system in order to keep the agency closed to the public. No one is permitted on the physical intake kennel anymore including many MCAS staff working there (what if they became attached to animals there and cared and didn’t agree). To know the status of a potential animal in need a citizen must persist, order, and pay for public records provided in the most expensive time consuming obstructive format possible. It deters offers of help. The doors are closed. This is about public service, government transparency, not just public records.
I continue to wait for answers to straightforward questions regarding Mr. Oswald’s calculations of MCAS’s live release and save rates. The questions were sent three weeks ago. The questions are short and objective. I wondered when I might have the answers?
I am seeking a meeting to resolve these concerns. Please don’t ignore this request.
Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD
Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog
16004 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, # 508
Sherwood, OR 97140
Telephone: 503.625.4563 .
From: Brian WAMMACK
Cc: Jenny MORF
Sent: Sat, May 19, 2012 10:17 am
Subject: Revised Electronic list 1
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