In tonight’s Grand Traverse County Commissioners meeting, the fate of the Animal Control Division was decided by a narrow margin of 4-3 in favor of increasing the budget by $150,000 in order to fully staff the division with three animal control officers (one of them supervisor) and one part-time clerical person.
At the beginning of the meeting, it was announced that they received the resignation of Administrator Vicki Uppal. Uppal was tasked by the Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee to submit the recommendation for the increase in funding, an increase in staffing and recommending the move the Animal Control Division to the Keystone Road building where the former animal shelter used to be. She did this work before her resignation and Interim Administrator Jean Derenzy took her place at the meeting. Derenzy said she had gone on site to visit the location and found enough room for both Animal Control and the Commission on Aging to share the building.
Commissioners Bob Johnson, Ron Clous, Dan Lathrop and Sonny Wheelock all discussed their problems with supporting three full-time animal control officers but they seemed open to funding two officers. Commissioners Clous and Wheelock had a problem with the additional funding, citing the fact that animal control services not being mandated by the state. Also a concern was the recent loss of staff, including the administrator, and not knowing what direction they were going to go in the future. Continue reading
After providing limited animal control services since the previous Board of Directors and Administrator Tom Menzel eliminated the Animal Control Division and two full-time Animal Control Officers, Vicki Uppal, the current Administrator, will be presenting a recommendation to fund the Animal Control Division at Wednesdays Board of Commissioners meeting on January 17th.
The Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee has been meeting with the staff of the Health Dept. and Sheriff’s Office to determine how to meet the long term needs of Animal Control. They also received assistance and support from the public. At the meeting on January 10th, they made a recommendation to the Administration to find funding for the Animal Control Division as well as identify a location for where it should be relocated. Continue reading
After a previous Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners and past Administrator Tom Menzel eliminated the Animal Control Division at the end of 2015 with no public input, 2018 brings with it new hope that animal control services will be restored to at least what the previous budget and staffing before the division was eliminated.
With Vicki Upppal in place as the new Administrator in addition to more recently elected pro-animal control commissioners on board, it looks likely that the next few weeks will bring decisions that will once again fully fund the Animal Control Division. With the urging of Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette, an Animal Control Ad-Hoc Committee was formed in 2017 to look into the situation, utilizing opinions and resources from the county staff, the commissioners and the public. This has led to more communication between the county staff and commissioners regarding how to move forward in able to offer the animal control services that the county residents deserve. Continue reading