Revised county pound contract met with disappointment
County executive proposes deposit
for pets adopted from shelter
By Kathleen Folkerth
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Council members were not pleased with revisions made to the contract with the National Animal Control Association (NACA) by the County Executive’s Office because it does not include council members in the initial review of results.
Council heard from Stephen Dyer, staff attorney for County Executive James McCarthy’s Office, at its meeting April 17. Dyer negotiated the contract, which he said was being “signed as we speak.”
“We are asking for first reading [adoption] to get this contract under way and get this resolved,” Dyer told council.
Dyer said the revised contract states that the county executive-appointed Humane Commission would be part of the closing conference regarding the report, along with McCarthy.
“Council will receive
the report after it’s made public,”
said Regina Hanshaw, staff attorney for council.
That didn’t sit well with
some members of council.
“I would encourage the
administration to at least invite one or two council
people to sit in on the closing audit,” said Tim
Crawford (D-District 7).
Council adopted a resolution
Feb. 13 that requested NACA return to the county to
update its assessment of the Summit County Animal Control
agency. The organization had examined the shelter in
2004 and made more than 100 recommendations for improvements
to the facility and agency.
On Feb. 22, the Board of Control
offered a contract to NACA. On March 9 council asked
the executive’s department of law to include provisions
in the contract that would ensure openness in the process,
including a requirement
that the new report be made public at the same time
it is issued to council.
NACA also made recommendations,
according to legislation introduced Monday by council
President Clair Dickinson (D-at large). His legislation
states that the law department did not include any of
council requests when drawing up the contract and asks
that NACA’s recommendations be added to the contract.
Paul Gallagher (D-at large) said
he wants NACA’s work to be a “transparent”
“The earlier results were
kept confidential,” he said. “Council doesn’t
want that to happen again.”
Previously, Jill Skapin, director
of communications for McCarthy, has said that the report
was not confidential and council members could have
asked for it if they had wanted to see
Council opted to have the legislation
go to the Rules Committee for discussion at its next
Also during the meeting, legislation
was introduced that proposes requiring those who adopt
animals from the county shelter pay a refundable deposit
equal to 75 percent of the cost of having the animal
spayed or neutered.
The measure, sponsored by McCarthy,
states that upon the animal owners submitting proof
of the procedure to the animal warden, the money would
be refunded. It also states that the county executive
will determine the cost of spaying and neutering upon
which the deposit would be based.
The proposal will be discussed
during committee meetings April 24.
In other business, council defeated
legislation reappointing and appointing members
to the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning
and Development Organization (NEFCO). Council member
Nick Kostandaras (D-District 1) had raised concerns
about the issue because he was a longtime member of
the organization and was not among those to be reappointed
in the legislation, sponsored by McCarthy.
Pete Crossland (D-District 4)
introduced a motion to bring the issue to a vote, then
added that he urged his fellow members to vote against
it. The vote was 0-10. Council member Louise Heydorn
(R-District 3) was not in attendance.
Kostandaras said he was pleased
his fellow council members struck down the measure.
“I’m delighted that
my colleagues on council saw fit to defeat this legislation,”
said Kostandaras April 18, noting
that he planned to attend a NEFCO meeting the following
day. “I spent all those years in faithful service
for Summit County. I’m an active member.”
There was confusion among council
members as to who was replacing Kostandaras in the legislation.
“The administration should
come back with a resolution with who is being replaced
and by whom,” Gallagher said.
Council also heard first reading
of a resolution opposing the Tax Expenditure Limitation
(TEL) Amendment, which will be on the Nov. 7 General
Election ballot. Council-as-a-Whole is sponsor of the
legislation along with McCarthy.
Summit County Council is scheduled
to meet for committee meetings April 24 at 4:30 p.m.
in council chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio
Building, 175 S. Main St.