A little premature, but hey, why not?
Have you asked around other shelter directors for suggested successors like I have?
When I have asked recently, no one suggested anyone. When I asked them if they would come, the feedback I got was something like, "What? You crazy?"
When I was doing this same homework 3 years ago, EVERYONE, from Mike Arms, to Baptiste, to everyone, without reservation said Winograd. They told me LA would be tough and Winograd fit that bill.
I think they all think that LA is holding and will hold the next GM up to a much higher standard than would any other city.
Maybe this is why Winograd refused the job. Maybe LA is as much out of his league as it is obviously out of Boks' league.
No other city has given its animal services a budget of $25,000,000 and 7 basically new shelters, and what do we have to show for it? Marginally better stats than NYC with 3 smaller shelters and a budget of $8.5 million.
Actually, NYC has been doing fairly well since Boks left. I don't know whether they just have mastered Boks's style of no-kill math, or they are actually making substantial progress. We do know they are extremely overcrowded and are turning away animals which helps stats somewhat. I wonder if Greenwalt turned animals away?
AND, LA did make good progress under Stuckey, who was apparently a good (?) manager of community outreach in Maryland. Greenwalt made dramatic progress compared to anything Boks has been able to do here or at any of his other jobs. His kill numbers dropped 17% one year, and the smallest drop was 11%.
I have changed my mind in one respect. Mike Arms said it was all about marketing "used animals." There is good truth in that concept, but there is more to it than that.
I think you need someone to be GM who will do this because he loves animals and who was a huge success in some other area, such as business or the military, someone like Lee Iacoca who is a true turn around specialist, not intimidated by a 400 employee union-civil service department. You know, someone who made $5,000,000 a year or was an army general (or at least a colonel), who would have instant respect, maybe deep pockets, and a deep backfield like Riordan when he was mayor.
I think Riordan was a good if not great mayor because he had the capability of going around the blockages built into the system. Boks tries but he doesn't have the juice to get away with it and his program ideas are too small and not life-effective. They are show pieces to deflect attention away from his overall failure.
But I don't know anyone in the director industry that wants the LA job and VERY FEW (1), in even a moderate sized city, with smaller than a 20% kill rate. San Francisco is still the gold standard with a successful partnership between the municipal and private SPCA.
I would like to think Winograd could do it, but I think his constant backing away from involvement with LA is a signal sent loud and clear. Nathan is correct in one HUGE way: The City will not become No-Kill until it has the will to do so. Villaraigosa does not have that will or priority but its citizen's do.
So, we wait on Philly, which is Winograd's biggest test so far, but in the meantime, know any retired Marine generals who want to do No-Kill in LA? Maybe Kathy can talk her father into taking on the job. Tell him he can be canonized in a couple of decades if he carries it off.
On the other hand, this would be a one-shot fix. That is, it would require another Marine general in another city to get the same No-Kill there. Too many cities with needs, too few generals.
So, we are left with Boks who pretends success, Winograd who promises success on his terms, and a few sucessful shelter managers who don't want the job. Go figure.
But if Villaraigosa made No-Kill a priority, it would happen. That is apparently left for the next Mayor, who I had hoped would be Alarcon or Zine, both of whom seem keen on getting the killing down. But it looks like Antonio may not be moving up to Governor soon.