The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 24, 2013

Council OKs agreement with humane society

By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — After months of discussion, the Clinton Humane Society has been approved as the city of Clinton’s animal impoundment provider.

One major point of contention during the months-long process was the subsidy amount the city would provide the humane society. The city had been paying $65,000 and humane society officials requested $120,000 for the new contract.

Once council members finally approved the agreement a few months ago, it was vetoed by Mayor Mark Vulich. The council failed to overturn his veto, leaving the city with no animal impoundment provider and leading officials to ask for proposals from possible providers.

The Clinton Humane Society was the only organization to submit a proposal, this time seeking a $105,000 subsidy.

At-large Councilman John Rowland during Tuesday’s City Council meeting decried the mayor’s veto.

“The question is, ‘why did the mayor veto this if we’re back to square one and what was his purpose?’ I think he owes the members of the community an answer to that,” Rowland said. “It’s ridiculous the amount of time and effort and money that was spent on this particular project to end up where we’re at tonight.”

Rowland also asked why the mayor did not have an alternative plan for animal impoundment in place when he issued his veto. However, Vulich was not at Tuesday’s meeting, prompting Ward 1 Councilwoman Maggie Klaes to criticize Rowland’s questioning.

“I think it’s rude of you Jack, now, to bring it up tonight because our mayor, as you can see. is gone,” Klaes said.

The newly approved contract clarifies that the city will not pay for the boarding of animals brought in by Clinton citizens, which was a point of contention during the original contract negotiations late last year. Any calls for the animal control officer’s services will need to be made through the Clinton Police Department.

The contract also states that private citizens may be asked for a donation if delivering animals to the humane society.

The humane society will be responsible for holding dogs and cats brought in by the animal control officer for four days and three days at its cost, respectively. If the city wanted the animal to be held longer it would need to inform CHS staff in writing.

The animal would then come under the control of the humane society.

Ward 3 Councilwoman Bev Hermann said she would support the contract, but asked humane society officials to boost their efforts to see animals leave the shelter with new owners instead of the alternative.

“I hope that somehow that you can improve or find ways to maybe increase the adoptions and decrease the number of euthanasias that seem to be necessary. I think we could do so much better at getting the animals adopted,” Hermann said.

All council members approved the contract with the exception of Ward 4 Councilman Paul Gassman, who abstained.