Did you hear the Zine meeting. Unbelievable! They confirmed Boks was worse than even I thought. I especially enjoyed Linda Gordon's remarks.
Dana Bartholomew writes:
Workers, activists join against animal services chief
By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 10/07/2008 09:13:51 PM PDT
Animal shelter workers joined activists Tuesday to renew calls for the resignation of city animal control manager Ed Boks. During a special city meeting, employees for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services called for the heads of general manager Ed
Boks, and his assistant, Linda Barth.
Last month, half the department had filed a petition of no confidence, citing mismanagement, intimidation, retaliation and a disregard for workers, animals and public safety.
"This is unprecedented for this many members of animal services to stand up and say, 'We've had it, ... We can't bear to see animals the way they're being treated because of management policies and procedures,'" said Victor Gordo, a union representative for LAAS middle management.
"The citizens of Los Angeles are not getting the services they have paid for."
An estimated 200 animal shelter workers, activists and concerned residents packed the Tuesday evening Personnel Committee meeting at Van Nuys City Hall.
The public forum was called by Councilman Dennis Zine, chairman of the committee, in response to workers' concerns. The committee includes council members Tony Cardenas and Bernard C. Parks. Parks did not attend Tuesday's meeting.
"We just are trying to get to the bottom line of what's happening in this department," Zine said after the meeting.
Boks is scheduled Thursday to meet with officials from the Mayor's Office and shelter worker unions to plan how to address the employees' concerns. In a letter to employees Monday, Boks said he values employee input.
"It is important to me that we identify problems, confirm facts and resolve whatever differences may exist among us - and that we continue to work as a team," wrote Boks, who didn't attend the meeting.
Boks also wrote Zine that being a "change agent" can be difficult while making Los Angeles the first large "no-kill" city in the nation.
Critics, including unions for shelter managers and officers, contend the city's top animal control regulator has warehoused too many pets at the city's expanded city shelter system.
As a result, they say dogs and cats attack one another, get sick and must ultimately be put down. This year, euthanasia is up 37 percent in Los Angeles.
In addition, they blasted Boks with a litany of complaints, from a lack of viable adoption programs to no-leash law enforcement by too few animal control officers on the street.
Meanwhile, city officials have asked why six of the eight spay-neuter clinics have sat vacant.
Linda Gordon, a senior management analyst and 30-year veteran of animal services, said the department has no confidence in Boks. "We are not whiners. We work hard every day. We're the ones who scoop the poop," Gordon said. "We are the ones who must hold the animal when they are killed."