MAS Nightmare Should Keep You Up At Night

Maybe the best thing about Greg Fischer’s Day of Service? It exposed the need for volunteers in a lot of places. [WFPL]

If you didn’t participate in Greg Fischer’s Day of Service, remember that you can give back any day, any time, in any way. Always giving back to your community is a good idea. If you can. Obviously. [FOX 41]

President Barack Obama has called for a moment of silence today at 11:00 A.M. for the Tucson shooting victims. To those of you asking why I haven’t been more vocal about the shootings: what the crap could I possibly say? It’s a tragedy. [Press Release]

Here’s what some of Kentucky’s political leaders had to say about the Tucson tragedy. [H-L]

Did you see this open letter from a Metro Animal Services employee to our readers? If not, you need to read it immediately. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Seems only Bennett Haeberle is staying on the Metro Animal Services nightmare going down in our city. [FOX 41]

Metro Council President Jim King says the budget process may be smoother under a new mayor. Here’s why: Greg Fischer, while I obviously dislike him, isn’t incompetent like his predecessor and he’s more likely to cave to the council’s demands. [More WFPL]

Can you believe this David Camm case is still going on? A judge says Keith Henderson gets to remain as prosecutor in the case. [WAVE3]

Wait, what? The deal fell through for the sale of the former Colgate plant? That’s a shame. [WHAS11]

Simply Thai opened in a new location across the street from its old, closet-sized location. It is flipping amazing. Outside of the WORST SERVICE IN THE CITY, however. Flipping amazing. Mmmm. [Consuming Louisville]

Jerry Abramson on being proud of running for office on Steve Beshear’s ticket. [Page One]

A Metro Animal Services Employee’s Letter To You

You know I’ve been foaming at the mouth about the nightmare that this glorious city faces at Metro Animal Services.

But it’s time to let the employees at good people at LMAS have the floor.

Please read this open and heartfelt letter from a Metro Animal Services employee. I have agreed to conceal their identity.

To the people and pet owners of Louisville,

As an employee of Metro Animal Services – one of many who have come forward in the last week – I want to take this opportunity to address you and answer a key question that has been raised.

Many of you have asked why it has taken us “so long” to come forward; I feel the truth needs to be available to those who seek it. The truth is we have been coming forward, for over a year now, to our supervisors, managers, department Director, Metro Council members, members of Greg Fischer’s campaign team and, now, his administration. Despite those consistent efforts, we have gotten nowhere. Our requests have fallen on what would seem to be deaf ears.

We first began by bringing our concerns to Metro Animal Services supervisors and managers. When those individuals refused to hear our concerns, or otherwise dismissed them as overreactions, we went to our Director. At first, he listened patiently, even at times agreeing with our assessment of inadequacies and inconsistencies in policies and employee behavior. However, despite promises of action, no action was ever taken. This did not deter us from returning again and again to him, many times with the same concerns left unaddressed from previous meetings. His reactions changed from patient listening and understanding to hostility and criticism. Our concerns were met with statements such as: “how dare you criticize your fellow employees; their jobs are so hard. You have no idea what they go through; you are not to question them.” It was clear that we had to go elsewhere.

So, we went to Metro Council. Several council members, and one in particular, have met with us on multiple occasions. We have recounted our experiences, brought forth evidence of euthanasia, adoption, and rescue numbers. I believe that at least one council member is completely dedicated to seeing change made at Animal Services; however, for whatever reason (political or otherwise), action by Metro Council to affect that much needed change has been slow in coming.

Once the mayoral candidates were decided in May’s primary, we began approaching both candidates to tell our story. We told them what has happened under the current “leadership” of our agency and presented a detailed plan to improve it. Both candidates were receptive, making promises of change at Animal Services. We anxiously awaited November’s general election.

When it was decided that Greg Fischer would become Louisville’s 50th mayor, we immediately moved to schedule meetings with members of his transition team. We presented our evidence again, along with more in-depth statistical analysis of the numbers. We were promised change was afoot.

In light of news that Mayor Greg Fischer has called for a complete review at LMAS, I think you’ll want to read the rest of this exclusive letter after the jump…

Read moreA Metro Animal Services Employee’s Letter To You

Fischer Calls For Complete LMAS Review

Greg Fischer is calling for a top-to-bottom review of Metro Animal Services.

Here’s the release:

LOUISVILLE (Jan. 7, 2011) – Citing lingering concerns over animal welfare and public safety, Mayor Greg Fischer today ordered a top-to-bottom review of Metro Animal Services and announced that his administration will immediately launch its promised search for a new permanent director of the agency.

The review is the second that Fischer has announced, following Public Works and Assets, to ensure that city departments are operating at their best.

The review will examine how Animal Services cares for animals, policies and procedures for euthanasia and will track the city’s adoption rate in recent years. The review will benchmark Louisville’s animal welfare and control efforts with other cities nationwide and look for best practices.

“As mayor, I want every city department to be the best in the world, and I believe that we can work together to improve Animal Services,” Fischer said. “The city has already made significant strides with the recent opening of the new adoption center in Newburg, but I believe we need to do even better.”

Sadiqa Reynolds, Chief of Community Building, will oversee the effort, which will include input from government employees and private citizens. She will immediately begin consulting with community and Animal Service leaders on the review and name a review team before Jan. 28.

Fischer said Animal Services Interim Director Wayne Zelinsky will remain in the role while the review is being conducted.

“I want to decrease the homeless pet population, reduce euthanasia and increase adoption rates – and we can look to other cities to see how they’ve accomplished those goals,” Fischer said.

He’s meeting with the press at 3:30 to answer questions.

EXTREMELY good move on Fischer’s part. Good move. Positive start.

Metro Council Democrats On Fischer’s Merger 2.0

Here’s what the Metro Council’s Democratic caucus has to say about Greg Fischer’s “Merger 2.0”:

  • “I commend Mayor Fischer for embracing this very needed but complex task. Ten years ago we began a bold venture in Metropolitan government and it now time to fine tune and review our future needs to keep this effort productive.” Councilman Tom Owen (D-8), (former) President of the Louisville Metro Council.
  • “I applaud the Mayor for moving forward with tackling an issue of concern for many of our citizens. It is time we have an honest and serious review of services provided in Metro Louisville and the cost. I look forward to assisting this group anyway that I can. The people of Okolona will be interested to see if government can offer a better rate than the private sector for these services.” Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) Majority Leader
  • “Since my entire district is in a suburban area, I get many comments from constituents on this subject. I certainly want to be involved with this task force to improve the services in our suburban districts.” Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Vice-Chair Majority Caucus
  • “I listen to many people in meetings and as I travel through our neighborhoods who ask questions about the very areas this task force will review. I look forward to seeing the work of this group as we continue to improve our community and ensure fairness to all areas of our city. Councilwoman Judith Green (D-1)
  • “Every member of the Metro Council has been asked about these aspects of merger over the last eight years. Mayor Fischer has become a willing partner to help us address these issues. I hope the public will take the time to also learn about what can and can’t be done without changes.” Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin (D-2)
  • “Since 2003, we have seen a consolidation of services between two governments but I and others have had some serious concerns about this mergered government now eight years later. Many of us continue to advocate equality in taxes and services for everyone in Metro Louisville. Hopefully, this task force will be able show us the way to a “true merger” of government to the benefit of everyone.” Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge (D-3)
  • “It is a long overdue to address what many of us know is an elephant the room which is how to provide equal services at a fair cost to all citizen. I look forward to having an honest discussion and hearing all sides.” Councilman David Tandy (D-4)
  • “After eight years, I am glad we are finally having a discussion about taxes and services as it pertains to everyone in Metro Louisville.” Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5)
  • “Merger 2.0 shows great forward thinking and leadership of Mayor Fischer. I look forward to the outcomes of this task force as Mayor Fischer and Metro Council work to bring our entire community together” Councilman David James (D-6)
  • “I think it is wise to look back at how we started this merger and where we are today. Many people still do not understand how this government operates and why certain services are provided while other services are not. Hopefully, this task force will be an education process for the public on where we are and where we might want to go.” Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14)
  • “I am glad the Mayor is looking at this issue. This will give residents the opportunity to understand the many changes – good and bad – that have occurred since merger. I hope that an outcome is to separate the additional taxes collected in the Urban Service District to allow for a full accounting of services.” Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15)
  • “I appreciate the Mayor’s willingness to look at all areas of merger from garbage collection, recycling to the needs of the suburban fire districts. There are some tough financial realities that need to be addressed and the sooner the better.” Councilman Dan Johnson (D-21)
  • “I will work diligently with the Mayor and the task force to finally tackle the complex issues surrounding the realization of true promise of merger for District 25, South Louisville, along with the rest of this great City” Councilman David Yates (D-25)

Here’s hoping the Council Republicans will release something similar.

Your Metro Animal Services Nightmare Continues

You know how a few folks foam at the mouth any time I publish something about the corruption under Wayne Zelinsky’s failed leadership at Metro Animal Services? How not much has changed since Gilles Meloche was sent packing by the reluctant Jerry Abramson?

You know how I just get accused of being uptight and bitter (okay, so that’s true)? How I’ve been accused – by the Fischer Administration, no less – of fabricating what I’ve published?

Here’s this from FOX 41’s Bennett Haeberle:

Several Metro Animal Services employees have come forward claiming that animals at the city’s shelter are being needlessly euthanized, neglected and in some cases possibly abused.

Those who came forward (a mixture of current MAS employees and volunteers) asked that their identities be concealed. Many feared they would be fired or retaliated against for the information they shared.

“I’m coming forward because the things that have been happening at Metro Animal Services are just totally wrong. They’re killing too many animals for no reason,” said one employee who spoke to Fox 41 News on a condition of anonymity.

Another employee said: “The place, needs new leadership, the place needs new management.”

How about that? Am I still a bitter liar when it comes to one of the most screwed up agencies in Louisville’s Metro Government?

Really. Go read the entire story You’ll see just how uninvolved, uninformed and silly Wayne Zelinsky seems to be. This is the Meloche-turned-Zelinsky nightmare. And it continues unabated.

Here’s Haeberle’s report:

Change needs to take place. Immediate.

East End Bridge Changes Are Just A Distraction

Seriously. Let’s forget these ridiculous bridge ideas. It’s clear that no one in Metro or State Government are going to take anything to public has to say to heart.

Do you think it’s just a distraction? Maybe a move to aid Governor Mitch Daniels’ presidential bid? Maybe a move to give Greg Fischer a feather in his cap by moving on something that Jerry Abramson could not/would not?

LA’s Thankfully Inheriting UofL’s Embarrassment

Remember John Deasy, the guy Robert Felner gave a fake degree at the University of Louisville? The Los Angeles Unified School District is about to appoint him their next superintendent. Moral of this story: LA is about to get screwed. [LA Times]

On Monday at 6:30 P.M., Rep. Mary Lou Marzian will discuss the legislative session with the League of Women Voters. 115 S. Ewing Avenue. Open to the public. [Press Release]

Mayor Greg Fischer launched Merger 2.0. Thankfully, I’m not on the Metro Government press list and don’t have to read about this sort of thing. One instance in which the fear of Poynter/Abramson/Fischer of what I’ll say comes in really handy. [FatLip]

For every non-perishable food item donated to Dare to Care when having your taxes done at H Tax, $5 will be cut from your tax preparation fees – up to $25. So do it. [Press Release]

The discussion of neighborhood schools is terrifying a bunch of folks with money to lose in Louisville, it seems. [WHAS11]

Saying goodbye to Antonio Perez and Stephen Irwin. Art in memoriam. [Jo Anne Triplett]

Look who Phillip Bailey spotted out in public and no one had died. [Click the Clicky]

I still can’t find a reason to dislike charter schools and school choice in Kentucky. Any locals wanna yell at me and tell me what a racist buttcramp I am? [H-L]

As expected, Jim King was elected president of the Metro Council for the second time last night. “Parts of West Louisville and South Louisville suffer from crime and blight that would not be tolerated in east and northeast metro. We can’t be one city if we don’t get to the root of those problems,” King told the Council. Madonna Flood was re-elected Majority Leader. [Press Releases]

Dare to Care received two semi-tractors from Meijer. That’s some major charity news. An absolutely wonderful move by Meijer. [FOX 41]

Watching Gregory O’Bryan’s police interview is enough to incite rage and hatred. What a disgusting human being. What a horrible person that poor Andrew Compton had to endure. [WAVE3]

Ever wondered what a health care repeal would cost Kentucky? You may want to take a look at these statistics. Sure, it’s flawed legislation and the requirement that one buy insurance is insanity. But it’s equally insane to force a repeal of something that helps so many in this state and around the country. [Page One]

Time For A Jeffersontown Rumor Mill Update

It’s been a minute since we’ve shared any Jeffersontown rumors. So let’s do just that. Here’s what we hear:

Allegedly, Clay Foreman is attempting to get a job in Greg Fischer’s new administration and is also angling to be hired as the City Clerk for the City of Hurstborne.

Who wants to bet neither will happen?

We also hear J-town City Clerk Jim Leidgen and Parks Director Craig Driskell were let go.