The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 9, 2013

Mayor gives reasons for not signing Humane Society agreement

The agreement that was approved by the Clinton City Council at the April 23 meeting between the city of Clinton and the Clinton Humane Society went into effect Tuesday without the signature of the mayor.

With any action the City Council takes the mayor always has three options: 1: Sign the document. 2: Not sign the document and whatever the action was becomes effective 14 days later. 3: Veto the action. I have elected to not sign the agreement between the city of Clinton and the Clinton Humane Society. Earlier this year, I vetoed a proposed one-year contract with the Clinton Humane Society that called for an annual subsidy of $120,000 plus daily boarding fees. The city has been paying about $5,000 per year in boarding fees. At that time the city had recevied another proposal that would have satisifed our state required animal control requirements for $40,000 per year plus daily boarding fees.

The council did not override my veto but also did not accept the lower $40,000 proposal. Instead the council decided to create an RFP (Request for Proposal) and start the process over. As a result of this process the City Council approved a three-year contract with the Clinton Humane Society for $105,000 annual subsidy and no daily boarding fees.

You may ask was the mayor’s veto worthwhile? My answer is yes.

Had I not vetoed the original proposed contract, the taxpayers of Clinton would be paying $120,000 plus daily boarding fees and only have a one-year contract with the Clinton Humane Society. As a result of my veto the taxpayers are now going to be paying a $105,000 per year annual subsidy with no daily boarding fees and the contract is for three years. When you add together the $15,000 reduced annual subsidy and approximate $5,000 in boarding fees, the taxpayers will be paying out over $20,000 less per year as a result of the Mayor’s veto.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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