Benzie County leaders discuss future of animal control and shelters
Benzie County leaders and the Benzie County Animal Welfare League discuss the future of the county animal shelter and control.
This is part of the ongoing fallout after the county missed a deadline to put animal control and shelter funding on the November ballot.
“We’re going to go over some of the ideas on how we can move forward between the two groups,” said Doreen Carter, president of the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County.
While county commissioners discussed the issue at their September 14 meeting, the Animal Control Advisory Committee held a meeting to discuss the changes in more detail.
“This is an opportunity for management to take a step back and see where we can improve,” said Kyle Maurer, head of the Benzie County Animal Control Department.
One of those topics was the potential donation of $ 100,000 that the Animal Welfare League allegedly gave to the county to fund employee salaries.
The county decided to decline the donation and opt out of the Delinquent Tax Relief Fund.
“As we have said as a county, we realize the mistake,” said Benzie County Administrator Katelyn Zeits. “We want to fix the mistake. We should not have to pass this error on to others.
The county is also considering restructuring the duties of shelter workers and creating a formal agreement between Animal Control and the Animal Welfare League.
“We don’t have anything at this point, we just want to make sure we have open communication between the county, Animal Control and the Animal Welfare League,” Carter said.
One of the people who spoke out against the restructuring of the shelter was animal control officer Dillon Rosa.
He spoke at the last Commissioner’s meeting and he says that since then he has seen his patrol vehicle privileges revoked and his ability to answering calls is reduced.
Now Rosa says he’s afraid to make any further comments saying he fears retaliation from the head of the animal control department and the county administrator, and believes his job is in danger. .
But county leaders say the cuts are not retaliation – that the measures have more to do with cutting money from the budget, and one of the patrol cars is out of order.
Rosa now has a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Friday.
“I’m not going to comment on the disciplinary action,” Maurer said.