Council Chastises Boks

One of Boks' memorable sayings is, "It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission."

Unfortunately for Ed, Council doesn't do things that way. They want due process which includes their input, especially if it is in their district.

Concerning the transcript below, black text is transcript, red text is my highlight of things actually said by the persons indicated, but which I thought important to nore, and blue text is my sarcastic or nor sarcastic coments.

From a transcript:

Public comment on the item was first. Four parolees expressed supportfor the program, Teri Austen supported the program as did Daniel Guss.Guss asked if the LAAS commission had approved it. He believed they did not.

Tia Maria and her daughter both spoke for the program as did two other members of the public. Daugherty spoke against training aggressive pitbulls. Union head Julie Butcher asked if they had been adequate analysis, public vetting. She said she was not notified. Is having the first pitbull academy of any city a good thing? Maybe other cities use limited resources in other ways.

Boks then read a three page speech about the program. He said it will be housed at the SLA annex. Part time exempt city employees will be used. Villalobos is providing liability insurance. They will not rehab dangerous dogs. Six parolees will be on six month rotation, 1,000 hrs max per year. They will hire two supervisors to oversee them. Tia has alot of experience with pitbulls. There are no costs outside of salaries. $10K was donated to the program yesterday. (He said a lot more touting the program, just a summary of salient points).

Parks: I just found out about this today and it's in my district. There was no debate, no process, it didn't go to public safety or budget and finance. There are loose ends and what about liability. This is not vetted enough, not enough community input. We have a major dilemma. We want lower euthanasia, fewer dogs in shelters, want to help parolees,don't disagree on that, just not vetted enough. How did we get here without some review beyond the GM level?

Boks: Pitbulls were originally nanny dogs meant to protect children.What is liability? I briefed the animal services commission 3 times, if not 4. Only one commissioner asked questions via email. (Really Ed?)

The mayor told me to develop out of the box programs. Two employees will be union, six will not but they can apply.

Parks: Yes, the mayor said out of the box ideas but not outside of the normal process. (Oops!) It never went to public safety. What is the financial impact? It didn't go to budget or finance committee. You went over the numbers alright but you missed number 8, my district. (Oops!) The union brought up their concerns. I make a motion not to start this weekend. Pause it and take it through the process.

Labonge: I second that.

Cardenas: The council is in a dilemma. We want to reduce euthanasia and help the reentry of parolees but as Parks said, it hasnt' been vetted property, through the process. There is liability, we must be careful. This is the first time we've seen it. We have a process because we have a responsibility to our workers. We respect their opinion. Where are you getting the budget for this? Is it in your purview to shift it without coming to council?

Boks: We have a part time budget approved. We use it for special assignments such as this. Yes, the department has the authority to do this.

Cardenas: Not enough notification was made. I support and agree with you helping parolees and animals. Pitbulls can be the most docile pet.Unfortunately this got here the wrong way. I recommend to Parks. Try to move this forward before council goes on recess. Weiss can wave it from public safety. It could go to budget committee.

Parks: If we can waive it, we will but we don't have enough information today so, no. Budget and finance does not waive it.

Alarcon: I worked with Tia on anti-gang program 20 years ago. Just learned today she's doing this program. We want to reduce euthanasia but the question is the process. Does the dept have authority to contract outside without city council? Let's talk to the city attorney.

Boks: Tia is a volunteer.

Alarcon: Six are exempt, two are not? Boks: Two will be supervisors, employees who will be hired for the program.

Alarcon: So new positions are created for two supervisors?

Boks: Two are existing positions.

Alarcon: Did you give the opportunity to others to serve in this program?

Boks: Uhhhhh (Comment: Ooops!)

Alarcon: Our dept has no people who can train pitbulls?

Boks: Not to the degree that this program requires.

Alarcon: I gotta believe that some ACOs have the ability. There is acivil service process. Were they allowed to compete?

Boks: No, it's a special needs position.

Alarcon: Are they open or promotional? Open is from the outside,promotional is from the ranks. Did personnel approve these.

Boks: There was a competitive process. We worked with different parole boards. (Comment: Hey Ed, Alarcon was not talking about the competitive process you did in your own mind, but whether you involved the City's Personnel Dept.)

Alarcon:"This is not rocket science here. You put council in an awkward position. We want to encourage programs like this but we can't do it in the face of civil service system we manage. You have abused that privilege. You're dong it in our face. I don't appreciate it. Do it the right way. This needs to go to committee for review. I don't know why it didn't in the first place.

Boks: The Union expressed their concerns in a letter and we responded. (Comment: Oops; didn't Butcher just say she wasn't notified?)

Wesson: Where is this academy located? at the annex? That's district 10, my district. This is where the church wants to expand. How much money will this take from the city budget to do this for 6 months?

Boks: Salaries, supervisors $34K for two, $95K for 6 parolees, $129K total.

Wesson: For 6 months? So because of the way this was handled six people can't start work tomorrow. How long will this program last?

Boks: We will evaluate it every six months.

Wesson: We all have legitimate concerns for the process. We all said we could support the concept. Can we let it go ahead while we vet it? Six individuals are trying to have a second chance. It should have gone through the commission, city process.

Labonge: You said personnel reviewed it? (to Boks)

Boks: They are already in the payroll system.

Labonge: Parks is 1000% right. It should be vetted. You have to go through the process. You can't work outside of the process. (Comment: Oops!) I supportParks, start it now, just don't do pitbulls. If personnel department says it's okay to go to work tomorrow, put them to work. When did the animal services commission look at this?

Boks: We discussed it three times.

Labonge: As an agenda item?

Boks: It's in the minutes.

(Comment: Another Boks lie; it is not in any of the Commission minutes. Guss caught him on this.)

Hahn: We have the majority of parolees in my district. I try to find them jobs. That's not the point. If they're on payroll, let's hire these guys. The city's liability is not vetted. What if a dog gets a certificate and bites someone? Does liablity increase? I want to see the city attorney look at this. I want your commission to take a position on this.

Rosendthal: Gerry (city attorney), come on up. This didn't go through the process. Was under the radar screen. I'm a dog lover but Hahn is right about liability issues. Jerry, how did we get here, below the radar?

(Comment: Maybe because most of Council is stupid as witness them agreeing to pay Eric Jones DVM $1.6 million to get a 7% discount for City Spay/Neuters.)

Gerry: Boks has authority to hire personnel assuming that you funded the program. It's unclear. Boks has authority to have them work tomorrow.

Rosendthal: Can we do it before recess in the next couple of weeks?

Gerry:I'll look at it quick depending upon schedule.

Rosendthal: Can you put them on payroll now them bring it before council quick?

Greuel: Make sure personnel and city attorney are okay with it.

Alarcon: We must act legally on hires. Two supervisors would be union eligible. Don't think they went through the personnel dept. If we wait a week, we'll know more.

Gueuel: Motion to hire them today with approval of attorney and personnel, or continue it?

Labonge: Hire six, not the exempt positions.

Gerry: If Boks has the authority to hire them. I take it on faith that he does, council can't direct him to hire or not hire. (Comment: A City Attorney takes Boks' word on faith?)

Labonge: Alarcon was the former personnel analyst. His points aren't good points? I have to take my motion back because I didn't hear from personnel that it's okay.

Boks: I spoke with Wayland. She supports the program.

Greuel: If you can do that, that's the question. (Comment: Gotcha!)

Boks: I have the authority.

Labonge: Continue it to the 17th of August.

Greuel: No one is hired until it comes back through committee?

Parks: Make sure the program is funded, make that part of the review.

10 ayes. No one is hired until it goes through committee. Personnel committee, public safety committee, LAAS commission, budget and finance committe and the union did not approve this program. I do not see it in the minutes online now.

(Comment: Well, well, how many lies was he caught in today?)


Jeff de la Rosa said...

Bravo, Ed!
You just saved me about 2 hours! Now I don't have to write what you just wrote.

Anonymous said...

Even though city council instructed him to put the program on hold, Boks went ahead with the press conference. He still held the event with pitbulls, trainers and parolees at the south los angeles annex. He invited the public in to play with the pitbulls. He totally ignored city council's instructions.

On top of this he did a run around direct to the press. He wrote his own article and sent it to the Times person who just ran it word for word. The article makes it seem that the program was approved but only the delay date would be later because of city council. Again, Boks doing whatever he wants. Who cares about liability, insurance, following city regulations, spending department funds wisely. He just wants more positive press for himself.

Anonymous said...

Boks is a criminally insane liar.
This would be such a great idea if Boks could do anything right. I don't believe Ed or Tia have good judgment when it comes to Pit Bulls, and they both feed into the harmful stereotype that condemns them. I am all for helping Pit Bulls, but obviously this is a clusterfudge.