PASSED Article 2012-18 Elected ACO

PASSED Article 2012-18 Elected ACO

Postby Rob C - Moderator » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:27 am

(curt renumbered on 2/10/12)

Currently not in final form

Article 2012-16 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Officer

To see if the Town will vote to require that the Animal Control Officer position be reinstated and be elected every three years as permitted by NH RSA 41:2 (so that the Animal Control Officer position will be on the Town Ballot in March 2013) and that the fiscal year 2013 budget for said Animal Control Officer be reinstated as it existed in fiscal year 2011.
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby russh » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:53 pm

From: http://speakoutdanville.org/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2882#p20998

This warrant reeks of desperation. Shelia is not the kind of person I want representing the town of Danville, and I am sickened that she continues to spew lies and misinformation while hiding behind the veil of a non-public session, knowing that the BoS members can't talk about it.

She needs to ask for these minutes to be unsealed so that the truth can be made public. She has been challenged time and time again to bring these minutes into the public light, and continues to ignore those challenges because the truth is something she can’t spin, or ignore.

Let’s have it Shelia, request that these minutes be unsealed.
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby Sheila » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:09 pm

Mr. Harding,



To set the public records straight, I have never been invited to any non-public meetings with any of the Board of Selectmen, nor did I ever attend any non public meetings with the Board of Selectmen. Therefore, I would not ask to have minutes of a non-public meeting unsealed to any meeting that I never attended. I beleive you, as the BOS, are in violation of my rights under the 91:1a.



Sheila Johannesen
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby russh » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:36 am

Sheila wrote:Mr. Harding,

To set the public records straight, I have never been invited to any non-public meetings with any of the Board of Selectmen, nor did I ever attend any non public meetings with the Board of Selectmen. Therefore, I would not ask to have minutes of a non-public meeting unsealed to any meeting that I never attended. I beleive you, as the BOS, are in violation of my rights under the 91:1a.

Sheila Johannesen


So does this mean you are requesting that the BoS unseal this minutes?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------RSA Public session was held under ------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/VI/91-A/91-A-3.htm

Specificly RSA 91-A:3 (c).

" (c) Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the public body itself, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine, or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant. "
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

My email, for any town related business: russ.harding@live.com
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby AlfredTwo » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:56 pm

russh wrote:
Sheila wrote:Mr. Harding,

To set the public records straight, I have never been invited to any non-public meetings with any of the Board of Selectmen, nor did I ever attend any non public meetings with the Board of Selectmen. Therefore, I would not ask to have minutes of a non-public meeting unsealed to any meeting that I never attended. I beleive you, as the BOS, are in violation of my rights under the 91:1a.

Sheila Johannesen


So does this mean you are requesting that the BoS unseal this minutes?


Seems pretty clear to me that she is not asking for the BoS to unseal the meeting because she has no idea what was said. And in fact it seems unreasonable for her to ask that they be unsealed unless she knows what was said. Unless she was there or has seen the minutes (has she?) then of course she doesn't know what was said and is at a disdvantage in terms of defending herself against which might have been said. Now one would like to assume that nothing was said that she didn't already know but that seems unreasonably risky to me. I have not bone in this fight as I have no idea what sort of disagreement the board has with Sheila. Or her with the board. Right now both sides are just saying in effect "trust me."

Yeah not much to go on there. This is a discussion doing on where none of the people with the facts of the meeting are allowed to share them. Hardly seems right to continue it in public.

For right now, the opponents of this petition should be making arguments against it on principle and not on the personality of the person who is behind it. So don't tell use why Sheila should not have the job since you can't tell us why not. Reasonable people are going to assume that they can vote for someone other than Sheila if they wish anyway. Rather tell us why this should not be an elected position and why the town should not be required to have a dedicated full-time ACO and not have the option of having a joint person with another town or towns.

Thos in favor of it should likewise not be telling us why Sheila should have the job but why the selection should be taken out of the hands of the BoS. And BTW not because of who is on the Board now but by the very nature of the BoS and ACO roles.
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby curt - Moderator » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:35 pm

As amended at deliberative session on 2/4/12:

Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Officer
To see if the Town will vote to require that the Animal Control Officer position be reinstated and be elected yearly as
permitted by NH RSA 41:2 (so that the Animal Control Officer will be on the Town Ballot in March 2013).
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby James Mickalide » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:31 am

I have a number of questions concerning making this an elected position and maybe someone here has the info.
#1 Who determines the salary of this elected position? Budcom? Selectmen? Other mechanism?
#2 Who sets the budget for this position(aside from salary)? Budcom? selectmen?
#3 If there is a current defined job description would that be applied to the elected position?

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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby russh » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:04 pm

James Mickalide wrote:I have a number of questions concerning making this an elected position and maybe someone here has the info.
#1 Who determines the salary of this elected position? Budcom? Selectmen? Other mechanism?

This would go through the standard budget process, so it would be a collaboration between BudCom and Selectmen
James Mickalide wrote:#2 Who sets the budget for this position(aside from salary)? Budcom? selectmen?

Same as # 1.

James Mickalide wrote:#3 If there is a current defined job description would that be applied to the elected position?

No. State RSA does not define what an ACO does, so its up to the Selectmen to create a job description. In cases where RSA defines job duties, such as Tax collector, and Town clerk, the Selectmen have little to no input.


This all assumes that this petition passes, and is not rescinded in 2013. Since the Regional ACO will be put through the same hiring processes as a standard police officer, ( background checks, polygraph, physiological exam, etc ), I continue to feel that this is a much better approach than creating an elected position that has no clear budget, or job description.
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby Sheila » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:58 pm

February 23, 2012

ACO Position Should be Elected
The Carriage Town News Thu Feb 23, 2012, 05:51 AM EST


After seven years of devoted, cost effective service to the Town of Danville, the Board of Selectmen chose to not reappoint the Town's Animal Control Officer (ACO). They did so during a non public session where they neither invited the ACO to attend nor gave her an opportunity to respond to their alleged issues and/or reasons for their decision. The Selectmen then entered into a short lived (two months) regional animal control contract with the Town of Plaistow. The reason that the Selectmen gave for their decision was that it was a cost effective move, which is incredibly hard to believe if one looks at the facts.

The Danville ACO funded most of her position through dog license fees and fines. In addition, the Danville ACO position was funded at $13.76/hr where the Plaistow Regional ACO position was funded at $16.00/hr. The Danville ACO response time was less than ten minutes where the Plaistow ACO response time for Danville issues was approximately thirty minutes. The Danville ACO's contract with the NHSPCA to hold an animal for seven days and care for it cost approximately $178.00. The same animal care and holding period charged by the Plaistow regional contract is $438.00, a 60% increase!(If an animal goes unclaimed for seven days it is put up for adoption).

Not only have the costs to the Town of Danville dramatically increased with this new arrangement but there are new potential costs associated with liability concerns. The Danville ACO was specifically trained, certified and insured to properly care for animals and to deal with many different animal situations. She was also vaccinated against rabies. Currently, the Danville Police are serving as ACOs. The Danville Police are neither trained nor certified as ACOs. They are not insured as ACOs nor vaccinated against rabies. This current situation is a huge accident just waiting to happen that may have severe consequences!

The Selectmen want you to believe that eliminating the Danville ACO position was a cost effective move. It was not. Please vote "Yes" on citizen petition Article 2012-18 to make the ACO position an elected position.

Sheila Johannesen

Danville
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby Sheila » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:04 pm

March 8, 2012

Selectmen's Judgment Questioned
The Carriage Town News Thu Mar 08, 2012, 05:42 AM EST


I am very disturbed at the abrupt dismissal of long time Danville Town personnel by the Board of Selectmen. First it was the Selectmen's Clerk a while back and then, most recently, the Animal Control Officer (ACO). As a longtime resident (22 years), these are people that I interacted with numerous times and that I considered very professional and effective in their jobs.

Last year, the Danville Board of Selectmen (chaired by Shawn O'Neil) chose not to reappoint Sheila Johannesen to the Animal Control Officer (ACO) position that she had devotedly held for seven years. They made their decision in a non public meeting, which gave Sheila no chance to defend herself or speak to their alleged grievances. How in the world could this decision have possibly been in the best interests of the Town? It certainly couldn't have been for job performance or budgetary reasons.

Sheila's vigorous enforcement of state-required license laws more than paid for her salary. In fact, Sheila's hard work and devotion to her job had always been above and beyond the call of duty. When the Town wouldn't pay for adequate training, Sheila applied for scholarships and was able to attend at no cost to the Town. When the Town wouldn't give her a town vehicle so that she wouldn't have to use her own personal vehicle to transport lost pets, Sheila was able to solicit and obtain a donated vehicle at no cost to the Town. Having a limited budget that wouldn't pay for adequate equipment, Sheila worked at obtaining equipment donations. In fact, she was able to get pet resuscitation equipment donated to the Town's Fire Department, again, at no cost to the Town. In addition, Sheila started a non profit organization called the Danville RAINBOW Association (Rescuing Animals in Need by Offering Welfare), which helped to offset expenditures within the Animal Control Department. Sheila raised funds for this organization through donations, bake sales, annual low cost rabies clinics for persons who couldn't afford veterinary visits and other fundraising events. For all of us in Town who have ever panicked over a lost pet, Sheila had always been there for us and worked however long it took to find and return our beloved pets to their home. For those pets who never found their way home, Sheila always found them a new one.

In my opinion, the decision to not reappoint Sheila as ACO was a very bad one. Taken together with the abrupt dismissal of the former Selectmen's Clerk, it should certainly make everyone in Danville want to question the Selectmen's judgment regarding these and other decisions that they are making in the so called "best interests of the Town".

Please keep this in mind during the next election and vote "Yes" on citizen petition Article 2012-18 to make the ACO position an elected position.

Laura Games

Danville
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby Sheila » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:06 pm

March 8, 2012

To Danville Voters:
The Carriage Town News Thu Mar 08, 2012, 05:49 AM EST


As Danville's former Animal Control Officer (ACO), I am the lead petitioner on Article 2012-18, which seeks to require that the Town's ACO be an elected position each year as permitted by NHRSA 41:1. The reason that I am promoting this change is because I (as well as many others) feel that the Selectmen's "secret meeting" decision to not reappoint the Town's ACO and to commit the Town to a regional ACO contract with Plaistow is not in your economic best interests.

ACO services via Plaistow will take longer and will cost the Town more money than by keeping things as they were. While the Danville ACO budget over the past 5 years cost the Town an annual average of $14,572.00, the Danville ACO generated annual average revenues of $10,505.00 from fines and license fees. As a result, the total annual average cost to the Town for their own ACO and ACO budget was only $4,067.00. The regional Plaistow ACO makes 60% more per hour than the Danville ACO made. Plaistow's kennel and holding costs are also 60% more than the previous Danville arrangement. Also, the number of licenses and associated fees generated under the new arrangement are down by 24% ($2500). In addition, apparently the newly hired regional ACO resigned abruptly after only two months. The Danville police are currently acting as interim ACOs, which costs the Town more money and takes time away from other safety related tasks that the police should be doing. It also increases liability issues for the Town as the police are neither trained nor certified to properly care for animals or to deal with the many different animal related issues that come up. The police are also not vaccinated against rabies.

The Plaistow Selectmen minutes of August 22, 2011 reflect just how cost effective the regional ACO contract will be to Danville. They state that Plaistow will realize an annual potential increase in income of $15,000 to $30,000 with this new program.

Please vote "Yes" on Petition Article 2012-18 to put the ACO position back in Town in order to bring back the efficient, cost effective ACO services that we once had and to keep our tax dollars down.

Sheila Johannesen

Danville
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:12 am

Sheila wrote:The Danville ACO's contract with the NHSPCA to hold an animal for seven days and care for it cost approximately $178.00. The same animal care and holding period charged by the Plaistow regional contract is $438.00, a 60% increase!(If an animal goes unclaimed for seven days it is put up for adoption).


Sheila wrote:ACO services via Plaistow will take longer and will cost the Town more money than by keeping things as they were. While the Danville ACO budget over the past 5 years cost the Town an annual average of $14,572.00, the Danville ACO generated annual average revenues of $10,505.00 from fines and license fees. As a result, the total annual average cost to the Town for their own ACO and ACO budget was only $4,067.00. The regional Plaistow ACO makes 60% more per hour than the Danville ACO made. Plaistow's kennel and holding costs are also 60% more than the previous Danville arrangement. Also, the number of licenses and associated fees generated under the new arrangement are down by 24% ($2500).


Any proof to back up these numbers?


Sheila wrote:Not only have the costs to the Town of Danville dramatically increased with this new arrangement but there are new potential costs associated with liability concerns. The Danville ACO was specifically trained, certified and insured to properly care for animals and to deal with many different animal situations. She was also vaccinated against rabies. Currently, the Danville Police are serving as ACOs. The Danville Police are neither trained nor certified as ACOs. They are not insured as ACOs nor vaccinated against rabies. This current situation is a huge accident just waiting to happen that may have severe consequences!


Sheila wrote:The Danville police are currently acting as interim ACOs, which costs the Town more money and takes time away from other safety related tasks that the police should be doing. It also increases liability issues for the Town as the police are neither trained nor certified to properly care for animals or to deal with the many different animal related issues that come up. The police are also not vaccinated against rabies.


I can't help but think this sounds like scare tactics. I have a hard time believing that the PD is "not insured as an ACO". Doesn't the prior position (as the case in most towns) fall under the care of the PD? Wouldn't any necessary insurance requirements already be covered by the policy the PD holds?

In the past 12 years there have been a total of two cases of human rabies in the United States. More people die of the flu & falls annually.

I'm not saying the ACO should or shouldn't be an elected position, but I prefer to see facts with sources to to back up it up rather than unproven claims and scare tactics. I may have not even second guessed the financial claims until I read the "sky is falling" panic method used.
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby shawn_oneil » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:56 am

SBinRockrimmon wrote:
Sheila wrote:The Danville ACO's contract with the NHSPCA to hold an animal for seven days and care for it cost approximately $178.00. The same animal care and holding period charged by the Plaistow regional contract is $438.00, a 60% increase!(If an animal goes unclaimed for seven days it is put up for adoption).


Sheila wrote:ACO services via Plaistow will take longer and will cost the Town more money than by keeping things as they were. While the Danville ACO budget over the past 5 years cost the Town an annual average of $14,572.00, the Danville ACO generated annual average revenues of $10,505.00 from fines and license fees. As a result, the total annual average cost to the Town for their own ACO and ACO budget was only $4,067.00. The regional Plaistow ACO makes 60% more per hour than the Danville ACO made. Plaistow's kennel and holding costs are also 60% more than the previous Danville arrangement. Also, the number of licenses and associated fees generated under the new arrangement are down by 24% ($2500).


Any proof to back up these numbers?


Sheila was no math major for sure.
The cost for the remaining 8 months of 2011 without Sheila was a fraction of the cost of the first 4 months of the year with her as ACO. Call volume was reduced. Wonder why? Well when the fox is guarding the hen house, and hens are missing, do you ever wonder why? :roll: :roll: :roll:
FY2012 the Animal Control budget is $6k in expense. Was $14K+ under Sheila........ Wonder why?


Sheila wrote:Not only have the costs to the Town of Danville dramatically increased with this new arrangement but there are new potential costs associated with liability concerns. The Danville ACO was specifically trained, certified and insured to properly care for animals and to deal with many different animal situations. She was also vaccinated against rabies. Currently, the Danville Police are serving as ACOs. The Danville Police are neither trained nor certified as ACOs. They are not insured as ACOs nor vaccinated against rabies. This current situation is a huge accident just waiting to happen that may have severe consequences!


SBinRockrimmon wrote:
Sheila wrote:The Danville police are currently acting as interim ACOs, which costs the Town more money and takes time away from other safety related tasks that the police should be doing. It also increases liability issues for the Town as the police are neither trained nor certified to properly care for animals or to deal with the many different animal related issues that come up. The police are also not vaccinated against rabies.


I can't help but think this sounds like scare tactics. I have a hard time believing that the PD is "not insured as an ACO". Doesn't the prior position (as the case in most towns) fall under the care of the PD? Wouldn't any necessary insurance requirements already be covered by the policy the PD holds?

In the past 12 years there have been a total of two cases of human rabies in the United States. More people die of the flu & falls annually.

I'm not saying the ACO should or shouldn't be an elected position, but I prefer to see facts with sources to to back up it up rather than unproven claims and scare tactics. I may have not even second guessed the financial claims until I read the "sky is falling" panic method used.


It is a scare tactic. The Danville PD is very capable of handling these calls and will transition to the Regional ACO shortly. In some communities the ACO duties are entirely performed by the PD side.
The Regional ACO position was posted, and interviews were conducted (12 candidates applied). Sheila did not apply. Drum roll please.................... Wonder why?
You would think with those outstanding credential, as outlined by Laura Games (former Mrs. Mike Asselin (stellar years for Danville - NOT! :roll: :roll: :roll: ) and former Conservation member (not reappoint too)), would easily be the best candidate for the job.

You are all very smart people. You can figure this out. I do agree it would be easier with those non-public minutes unsealed.
Shawn
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby JohnH » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:26 am

shawn_oneil wrote:You are all very smart people. You can figure this out. I do agree it would be easier with those non-public minutes unsealed.
Shawn


Ah yes it would be very helpful to know why she was not reappointed, but alas the "secret meeting" minutes are not available to us unless she requests them. I believe that we all understand the purpose for non-public meetings when it comes to personel issues, which is to protect the rights and reputation on the employee. I for one wouldn't want the world to know why I was let go form a position, especially is I thought it would reflect badly on me as it seems the case with Sheila. It is much easier to hide behind them and call them "secret" and make others out to be the bad guy.

If this passes I would be interested to see if anyone else would step up and put their name on the ballet. It seems like she is expecting to be in the position after election time next year and that puts me off voting for it even more.

My feeling is that the ACO should not be elected, so my vote will be "No" on this article.
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Re: Article 2012-18 Citizen Petition – Animal Control Office

Postby safety frog » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:43 am

Small town politics so fun. Seems like the ACO should be hired, supervised and fired by the Police Chief!
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