I was told not to come out of the closet when starting this blog as I would be subject to merciless attack. I really haven't been. But I have seen that there is a small cabal of anti-Boks people in the community that are trying to destroy him whatever it takes.
No matter what I say in response to their accusations, no matter how much I point out the holes in their arguments, they do not stop. They repeat the same baseless charges and faulty arguments over and over, as if sheer repetition made them real. They will never stop. We need to move on. Asked and answered.
Therefore, I am not going to continue to respond to them as if they were rational, because they are not. They are little people who gather some sense of worth by attacking others with a higher public profile, or who just like destroying others, or, who want Ed's job and will do anything to get it. (However, I will gratefully accept any of their browbeating or inaccurate criticisms if directed towards Schwartzenegger.)
Instead, I am going to concentrate on bringing our community together to save animals' lives. Nothing else happening in Los Angeles matters more to me, except maybe having Antonio as governor.
There is just one more issue to address before I close shop on the madness.
It is charged by some, that many in the animal community perceive Ed as being too lenient with bad LAAS personnel, which has translated into all the negativity towards Boks.
This critique has two sides: is this truly the source of accusations about bad statistics or medical supply budget overruns, and, has Ed really been too lenient with LAAS personnel?
Concerning the former, I cannot imagine a that a criticism about a budget over-run in medical supplies in Maricopa has anything to do with his management style. In fact, the Maricopa auditors only suggested that AC&C tighten up their budgeting processes, which the department agreed to do so. The department response did suggest that meds were under-budgeted.
Budget overruns are common with any government budgetary process, look at Bush and Schwartzenegger as well as Davis before him.
But I cannot see how personnel style would unloose the character assassination accusations. These are the work of the nut-cabal, who will merely add accusations of management style ineffectiveness. However, the accusation regarding perceived over-leniency, is, at least an accusation of performance in the here-and-now.
I mentioned before that I have some friends who are employed by LAAS and work in the shelters. One is overjoyed Ed has taken over. He sees positive chnages taking place at the shelters. He sees the kill stats going down. He is happy with all the new programs.
I had asked him a similar question about life under Stuckey and whether the latter brought change. His response was that Stuckey came in and tried to strong-arm and browbeat LAAS employees into change. My friend said that didn't work. LAAS employees ignored Stuckey or worked to subvert him.
Now Dan and others criticize Ed's style as being too lenient. Perhaps from their viewpoint, but is it so in reality? This is a judgment call, a criticism about management style. Only time will tell whether Ed's management style is trasnferring into lowered kill stats and higher adoptions.
As I mentioined before, kill stats were down 24% in January vs. January 2005, down 33% in February compared to 2005, and, it appears, almost 40% down in March as compared to last year.
To me, this is fabulous success and certainly supports my observation LAAS is coming together, and part of that process is Ed's management style. I guess some would prefer the stick approach, which, of course, has worked so well in the past--right?
Already a complaint process is in place. Go to the LAAS website to fill out an on-line form.
I suggest also, and I offered to help set it up, a LAAS Watch blog concerning percieved animal abuses, or other acts of stupidity, or acts of kindness and courage, of employees. Of course the nut cases and hate mongers will have a field day, but at least they will have a channel that can be monitored by the community and LAAS.
I think the blog monitor should not post complaints from the obviously insane, but should publish those from credible sources or those with proof. I think the blog monitor should require proof that a on-line complaint form was submitted. Then we can follow how complaints are handled over time.
I think a Civilian Oversight Committee might be a good idea, but only if the people on it are rational and do not come aboard with oozing hatred. I would suggest Mike Bell, Scott Sorentino, Sue Freeman, Bill Dyer, Rich McClellen, Christy Metropole, Tamie Bryant, Laura Heisen and a half-dozen others as members. The rules and protocols on how this would Committee would work would be extremely complex and should reflect how other oversight committees already work. There would have to be a City sponsor and mentor, such as Mr. Bickhart.
The trouble is, such a committee may do far more to damage than help unless done right.
We are all in this together to help end unnecessary killing. It is not all on Ed's head. It is on our heads, your head, my head.