Two years and eight months after the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division was eliminated by past administrator Tom Menzel and county commissioners, the taxpayers of Grand Traverse spoke up tonight and voted yes for an animal control millage by an overwhelming majority of 69.58% of the vote with the unofficial results showing 18,146 people voting yes and 7,935 people voting no. Of the three millages voted on, this millage got the most votes and the highest percentage of votes in a millage – showing that the community definitely supports animal control which commissioners have questioned in the past.
The millage will provide funding for a three year period for animal control staff and services, protecting it from being eliminated at the whim of the the current Administrator or any of the county commissioners who will be voted into office in November of 2018.
The passage of the millage was up in the air after the county fired former Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, who has a large support base in the community. Many were upset about how the Health Department has handled her firing and the investigation into her actions while being an animal control officer.
The Animal Control Division currently has an Animal Control Supervisor, Jaime Croel, and an Animal Control Officer, Jon Brown. A third officer to replace Zerafa is being sought after the county posted the job opening recently.