Letters to the Editor May 12, 2012

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers May 15, 2012 01:00 am

Animal Control staffing shortage can be solved with sponsor

Animals are suffering and dying here due to neglect and abuse because Animal Control has a shortage of employees and is not able to provide the needed services to Del Norte County.

Inside, the pound has been much improved over the last several years and the euthanasia rate has been dramatically reduced; however, due to budget cuts, the services in the field have been cut back drastically. One animal control officer is trying to do the job of four people, leaving animals and people at risk. Areas of the county have had services completely eliminated, such as on the reservations.

In reality, the county is obligated to provide services on the reservations because of a little known law (The California 280 Law) that requires local authorities to enforce state and federal laws on reservations. In Klamath, the Yurok Tribe pays county taxes on its residential properties and Animal Control is still denying service to those properties.

There’s a perfect solution. We need at least two “humane officers” to help provide services and protection for animals and people. This would also give extended hours and weekend service. Humane officers are required to have more training than animal control officers. They know current animal law and can more effectively enforce it since they have to have approval of the courts.

The Humane Society of Del Norte has offered to sponsor the humane officers, which will save the county money since it is typically less expensive for counties to contract with Humane Societies rather than hire additional employees for animal services.

Right now, the county is working on the budget for 2012–2013. Because of the upcoming elections, it is urgent that you let your elected officials know how you feel about this. Please call, email, or write a letter as soon as possible to the Board of Supervisors and City Council asking them start protecting animals in this county by contracting with the Humane Society for humane officers and restoring service to all of Del Norte County, including the reservations.

Please advise your family, friends, and neighbors of this urgent call for help. We have a voice for ourselves and for our animals — we need to be heard on this issue and We need the Board of Supervisors to take immediate action to change what has become an injustice to us, our community, and the animals who live here.

Lana Amana

Klamath  

 

McNamer has a long history of helping and appreciating county

I am writing this letter to support Leslie McNamer for re-election to the Board of Supervisors District 1. I have known Leslie for many years and can say without question that she has an excellent handle on the issues that plague our county. She works hard to solve problems and cope with the facts. She does not make promises that can’t be kept. And no matter how adverse the political climate, this woman has proven that she will stand her ground.

I enjoy living in Del Norte County and can tell you why without a moment’s hesitation. So could any resident — diversity and all. So when someone blows into town and finds us broken and our people with no quality of life, I would like to ask that newcomer: “What brought you here?” and “What did you come from?” Been there, fixed that?

It’s not broken. Vote Leslie McNamer for supervisor in District 1.

Jeanne Bishop

Klamath

 

Challengers don’t understand rural living like incumbents do

At the candidates forum sponsored by the Triplicate, I heard Martha McClure, Leslie McNamer and Dave Finigan, all of whom have lived here for many years, speak knowledgeably about the issues facing our county and how they have worked together, despite their differences, to make good things happen.

Our supervisors clearly care about Del Norte County and value what makes it special — independent thinkers who constantly network and collaborate, world renowned natural resources, shared access to our beaches and forests- and are working together to create better access (airport, broadband Internet) to attract more jobs that will enhance, not destroy, this beautiful county and community that we love.

I also heard two relative newcomers from large metropolitan areas, Roger Gitlin and Bill Gray, talk about our community. Clearly neither one has lived here long enough to understand either small-town people or rural issues, yet Mr. Gitlin thinks Del Norte County is broken and that he can fix it, perhaps by jumping on desks. Bill Gray said he wouldn’t sit on any committees, that he would just make decisions.

Neither seems to understand the importance of working together. Are we electing a supervisor or a king? Although Gray and Gitlin advocate a business model, both admit that they have no experience in government. As a business owner, would you hire the inexperienced rookie over someone who has shown what they can accomplish?

I intend to vote for the experienced person who acknowledges that she or he cannot do it alone and values all the other people who together work to continually and thoughtfully support the citizens of Del Norte County and improve our quality of life.

Patricia Black

Crescent City

 

Politicization destroying utility of task force; privatizing impossible

After more than 20 years of volunteer service on the Local Solid Waste Task Force, I have decided that I am no longer willing to serve on that body.

Thank you to the various boards and councils that have reappointed me to the task force over the years. The biggest thanks and gratitude however, goes to those individuals who have served on the task force for their diverse viewpoints, ability to discuss rather than debate, solve problems rather than create them and explore a sustainable, affordable approach to solid waste management that will work for us in Del Norte.

The most successful advisory bodies I have served on are those that are diverse, nonpartisan, objective, evidence-based, and process-oriented with a willingness to accept the outcomes that emerge. The politicizing of these types of bodies by any single group, organization, party, ideology etc., greatly reduces their effectiveness as the citizen advisory group they were appointed to be. The purpose is open, free discussion, not political domination.

As to the current state of affairs: In 1990, we tried to “privatize” our solid waste activities. We could not “privatize” the liability of our leaking landfill, the necessary adherence to increasing state and federal mandates, the obligation of local government to ensure public health and safety through the proper handling of solid and hazardous wastes and on and on.

Make no mistake about it: local government has and will continue to have full responsibility for the solid/hazardous wastes within its jurisdiction! Government should not and cannot contract those obligations to the private sector. Martha, Leslie, Kelly, and Rick understand this! You did your job by pointing out fact; thank you for your courage!

Close inspection of any successful enterprise is an essential tool in that enterprise’s continued success! However, kicking the pile just to smell it does nobody any good whatsoever!

The public/private partnership that emerged through a very competitive bidding process has brought us the lowest rates in our region (most other essential public services cost more here). We are in compliance with state and federal law, recycling is at an all-time high, and we are able to be somewhat proactive in determining our “garbage fate.” Is it really in our best interest to eliminate an agency that is working?

Clarke Moore

Crescent City