The Round Rock Leader had done a mid-term interview with County Judge Dan A. Gattis, Sr, Things coming together. It’s no surprise that he wants to keep the job, “..the 66-year-old Commissioners Court leader said he plans to seek re-election in 2010″. An interesting theme to the article is that the current WCGOP commissioners court is just starting to get it “sea legs”:
Gattis and the other commissioners had a learning curve as they came into office, but the judge gives himself and the court good grades.
“I think we are beginning to learn,” he said. “I think things are coming together really good.”
Maybe that inexperience helps explains all the controversies, and inept responses, that the current court is responsible for dealing with. Let’s hope. (The RRL only mentions three controversies but there were several others. The disastrous dress code that was rolled back, Judge Gattis is still flouting the AG’s opinion and acting as the County Budget Officer, and running off another nationally respected expert).
While citing the county’s fiscal situation as something he takes pride in over his two years as the County Judge, the WCGOP’s Dan Gattis is only 1 for 3 when it comes to the three controversies mentioned in the article – the animal shelter, the landfill contract, and T. Don Hutto. The animal shelter appears to finally be on the right track, unfortunately for the other two that’s not the case. He blames his miscues regarding the landfill contract saying that he “underestimated the emotion” of those involved:
“To me, when I was running, the landfill contract was a business negotiation that could be handled straight up,” Gattis said. “I underestimated the emotion.
“That’s my biggest disappointment – in myself, not in them,” he said. “I have negotiated larger contracts but not contracts with that much emotion.”
Wow!! What a condescending and demeaning statement regarding those opposed to the landfill contract. It’s like he’s saying they’re just a bunch of emotional crybabies that don’t want a huge landfill next to their houses. But it gets better. Gattis goes on to, once again, misrepresent the circumstances of those being held and the county’s situation regarding T. Don Hutto.
The facility’s opponents – who regularly speak at Commissioners Court meetings – say a less restrictive, dormitory-style facility would be more appropriate, especially for children. They say county government should end its contract with CCA.
“If they [ICE] catch a female with her children, they retain her and her children together,” Gattis explained.
“Anytime you retain children, it’s a hard decision to make. But it’s a federal decision, not our decision.”
First “the female” and her children are not caught they come to the US looking for asylum, aka freedom. While the decision about who is detained is a federal decision, whether or not T. Don Hutto stays open in it’s current manners is not. That’s completely up to the WCGOP commissioners court in Williamson County. While getting the animal shelter straight and being in the black during what has been a massive economic boom in the county deserve some credit, it’s far from certain that the good during his two years in office outweigh the bad.
From this first time EOW became aware of the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter (WCRAS) it was apparent there were serious problems. Initially caming to our attention because the first director, who was hired as the result of a nationwide search, resigned. Citing issues with our county’s government which are becoming an all to familiar refrain.
In my general experience as an employee of Williamson County, I feel as though I was treated very unprofessionally, particularly by Commissioner Boatright and Commissioner Covey. The lack of planning and forethought involved in WCRAS was highly irresponsible, but what is more disturbing is the blatant apathy and disregard to the many warnings given to the County of the impending failure of the shelterâ€™s plan.
In today’s AusChron Patricia Ruland has an extensive wrap-up of the story now that the Williamson Co. Sheriff’s Office has filed it’s report, The Cat Did It: WilCo off the hook in shelter probe.Â Because there wer so many problems once Sobel left and animal cruelty investigation had to be undertake.Â There were other issues at the WCRAS as well.Â Ruland summarizes her article this way.
Blame the victim, shoot the messenger, shift the focus, and stall as long as possible.
Here are few key excerpts.
From its inception, the investigation seemed to hold culpable not the shelter but a dead cat, photographed in chilling death masque, in a state of decomposition, in a tiny blue box. Detective D. Hancock’s first instinct, based on his report of a softball interview of former shelter Director Dana Boehm (who was later convicted on unrelated theft charges), was that the cat had sealed its own fate by its own behavior. “If a cat was to get aggressive in the box, the door could have easily fallen down,” Hancock deduced in the report, implying that the cat’s entrapment was an accident. He didn’t address Rogowski and Panipinto’s main concern, though: that the cat could have fought for its life for days, possibly eventually expiring due to a lack of food and water, a chronic problem, they told investigators, they had witnessed at the shelter. On the whole, the crux of the complaint held that the shelter lacked adequate staff, medicine, and euthanasia fluid, and that it neglected to provide basic health and hygiene needs. Activists charged that these conditions were causing an animal death per day.
But investigators saw nothing out of the ordinary at the shelter, according to the report. The sheriff’s office apparently gave Boehm a pass, too â€“ not even touching on the concerns of staff and volunteers that Boehm had dispensed her own euthanasia fluid, possibly because the county’s license reportedly wasn’t in effect yet, and had demanded that adoption fees be paid in cash only. As reported in the Chronicle (“Dying Alone in WilliamÂson County,” July 6, 2007), County Treasurer ViviÂan Wood said her office had to demand and physically fetch those payments, because the shelter failed to submit them in a timely fashion. Foster confirmed that no such concerns figured into the probe. The niece of former WilCo Commissioner Frankie LimÂmer, Boehm apparently enjoyed kid-glove treatment by WilCo officials, even following her arrest Aug. 15, 2007, on charges of forging an employer’s endorsement on a $3,270 IRS refund check. Upon the district attorney’s referral for a reduction, she was convicted of misdemeanor theft on April 15, 2008. Aleshire described such political cronyism as severely compromising the cruelty investigation.
By contrast, investigators did conduct extensive, hardball interviews with Rogowski and Panipinto after a confidential informant, referred to only as “CSI” in the report, impugned their records as volunteers and blamed them for all the “bad press.” “The report included slanderous comments about my client Lori Rogowski, without even checking the accuracy of those statements, while protecting the identity of the person who made those slanderous comments,” Aleshire said. Moreover, the report alludes to RogowÂski’s photos but offers no analysis of their relevance to the case.
Asked about the photos, Foster dismissed them as inconclusive â€“ claiming, for example, that investigators cannot determine whether a subject is dead based on photos of the body (curiously negating the evidentiary significance of crime-scene photos, Griffin observed). Griffin, a former animal control officer, flatly told the Chronicle: “The photographs depicted animal cruelty,” adding that his first question would have been, “Where’s the cat?” No autopsy was performed on the cat, in fact; according to the report, the corpse was whisked away even before Boehm had a chance to examine it. To investigators, Boehm faulted volunteers: “Dr. Boehm stated the protocol at the shelter was to leave the deceased animal in place until she could look at it. Dr. Boehm stated this was not followed in either instance,” the report states. However, when interviewed last year by the media, Boehm gave the distinct impression she had looked over the cats by announcing they had died of “natural causes.”
To Aleshire and the activists, the truth surrounding the cats’ demise was indeed lost in transit, during the lax, languorous sheriff’s investigation. But the report has reignited furor over the case. Animal rights advocate Audrey Moses told the Chronicle: “Unlike a lot of people I have spoken with, I was surprised by the outcome of the ‘investigation.’ I guess I am an idealist and thought justice would prevail.” So, given the questionable outcome of the investigation, Moses is reprising her blistering website, , which documents the case and citizens’ reactions to it.
You’re not idealistic Ms. Moses you just expect accountability when something goes so obviously wrong.Â And in this case no one will be held accountable, now, that comes in November.Â This just follow the pattern of our current county government.Â I don’t think anyone who knows Williamson County expected anything to come from an investigation of Williamson County investigating itself.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) recently wrapped up their almost year-long investigation into the helter-skelter beginnings at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter (WCRAS). Here’s quick refresher.
The county commissioners decided they wanted a first-class animal shelter. They designed one and started a nation-wide search for a director. They then hired a well qualified director. But that’s about as far as they got. After many months of trying to get the shelter properly funded and staffed, with no help from the commissioners, shortly after the shelter opened the director resigned. That’s when the real problems started. The county hired a former commissioners niece as interim director, (she would later have serious personal legal troubles), and allegations of cruelty, neglect, and lawsuits followed. Also there were complaints from owners of their pets being euthanized while they waited. It took a while but eventually, and after a whole lot of trouble, the shelter appears to be running smooth. After hiring a new director and properly staffing and funding the facility – as the original director recommended.
That’s it in a nutshell, for more detail you can check out EOW’s coverage of the issue.Â The AAS this week had this article on the end of the investigation, Investigation completed after 10 months, (Be sure and read the comments).Â As is the case with any screw up in Williamson County these days it looks like no one will be held accountable for this, at least until November.
Those who were closely involved with this issue are saying the investigation wasn’t much of one, and the AAS article is full of holes. Here’s a response to the AAS story:
have read each page of the Williamson County Sheriffâ€™s Office â€œInvestigationâ€ Report. First of all, the report is poorly written with numerous grammatical errors and misspellings as well as failure to document dates and times with interviewees. Due to these issues it is difficult to follow the report. I was a Leander resident at the time, and am appalled at the lack of actual â€œinvestigatingâ€ that took place!
I hold a Masters degree in Criminal Justice and spent a few years working for a law enforcement agency in CA. It is obvious that a number of cover-ups occurred as well as just plain poor police work. Too bad for the residents of Williamson County and the homeless animals (once again)!
(Much more in the rest of this entry)
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Today’s AAS has a long article on the history of the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter (WCRAS), Despite warnings, budget and staffing were not allotted to meet new facility’s needs. Despite warnings from those they sought input from, county planners – primarily former Commissioner Greg Boatright and his assistant Kathy Grimes – went ahead with their own “conservative” approach to building an animal shelter.
Almost from the beginning, animal shelter experts and residents raised questions about the facility’s capacity, budget and staffing.
Janet Ott, board president of the Humane Society of Williamson County in Leander, was among the first to tell the county that the figures were too low.
“When the original $400,000 budget with five people came out, we were very clear that it was inadequate,” she said. “That just didn’t make any sense.”
The Humane Society took in 3,400 animals last year â€” less than half of the county shelter’s expected total â€” with a staff of 12.
Bert Stratemann, San Marcos’ animal services manager, said shelter staff also warned Williamson County leaders after hearing about their plans.
“We were really surprised at the number of staff out there,” he said, referring to the much larger shelter. “At that time, we had nine paid staff, and we were running ragged.”
[Kathy Grimes, former Commissioner Greg Boatright's assistant] said she didn’t recall any objections from the shelters she contacted, which included San Marcos. But she said she remembers hearing from the Humane Society, whose contract with the county was about to end.
“They were in a situation where anything we were saying, they were opposed to, it seemed like. We realized we just had different missions,” Grimes said, explaining that they had to take any animals that came to the shelter, whereas the no-kill Humane Society can limit admissions.
Some city officials now acknowledge that they should have looked closer at the proposal.
Although Boatright and Grimes said the capacity figures seemed feasible at the time, they blamed the staffing levels on the architect.
The architect, Larry Connolly, explained that spending more money on the design would allow the county to spend less on staffing because the facility was designed to be economical and easy to manage, Grimes said.
Connolly, however, said he didn’t recommend specific staffing figures.
“I may have facilitated their decision-making,” he said. “This is my specialty, but I don’t recall any specific direction in terms of (staffing), and I deferred to the people that operate these things.”
Connolly’s 2005 master plan determined that the shelter would need 88 dog kennels and 44 cat cages to accommodate up to 14,000 animals a year for the next 10 years. The shelter was built with 85 dog kennels and 60 cat cages.
That’s less than the Humane Society’s capacity: 98 dog kennels and 64 cat kennels.
That’s right, it was the architect’s fault. One may notice the word “conservative” is used when the planners speak of their budgeting philosophy for the shelter, not adequate. The word used instead, EOW thinks, should be “cheap”. Their focus was not building and staffing a shelter adequately but building one that would cost the least. The county leaders thought they knew better than those that had experience running an animal shelter. Despite being told over and over again that they were wrong, they decided to plow ahead knowing they were right, it would seem, and do this on-the-cheap. Three shelter directors later, a higher budget, and finally things are looking up at the WCRAS. Imagine that? If they would have only listened to reason in the first place all of this could have been avoided, and it probably would have saved us money in the long run.
At the bottom of the AAS article there’s a comparison of what Williamson’s shelter as compared to similar shelter’s in other counties. It’s very telling.
From what Shelter Concerns has posted it appears conditions may be slowly getting better at the shelter. They have a rundown of consultant Gary Coe’s top ten concerns about the shelter. Short form below:
- Too many people trying to run the shelter.
- Facility capacity.
- Staff levels and schedules were a problem.
- Kennel management was lacking.
- City and County rules and regulations are not consistent with the shelter.
- Lack of supplies. How to obtain supplies.
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are not complete. SOPs have been changing day-to-day.
- No idea what the euthanasia rate is.
- Emancipet contract (spay/neuter) a big issue.
- IT computer problems.
Shelter Concerns has the full list with much more explanation of each item. Also more on the meeting, and apparently Pct. 3 commissioner Valerie Covey still doesn’t get it. Here’s the wrap up of the meeting.
Covey continues to be extremely negative and unsupportive of change. She continually tried to pick apart at what Coe and others said. She even got into [it] with Leander Councilman Perez who told her â€œLet her (Schneider) do her job.â€ I did notice that for once she appeared to be on her own when complaining about issues. I feel strongly that she needs to be released from her position on the Board. If she remains, change will occur slowly or possibly not at all.
I was very pleased with the meeting. Most of the issues I have been addressing for the last three months were finally spoken about in public. In my opinion, the success of the shelter will rest with the Director and her staff. However, the Board of Directors, Council members, Commissioners and Mayors need to provide support and let the Director do her thing. I was able to meet Ethel Spence and Cheryl Schneider. I was impressed with their knowledge and passion. I think they will make a strong team. I was happy to hear Schneider say â€œI like specifics. I am a numbers person.â€ Gary Coe did a nice job of presenting the facts and giving credit, when due, to the appropriate staff. I think the shelter is on the right track.
My concerns are a change to the hold period of only 72-hours straight, possibly removing the Volunteer Coordinator position from the budget permanently and when Coe leaves will the Board and others still express their support for these necessary changes as well as provide for Schneider and Spence. Will they stand by the Director and her team? We know how easily some go back on their wordâ€¦especially when no one is watching!
Yes we do. Thanks for all the hard work on this.
TDP has an article up as well, Hired consultant tracks Wilco shelter’s disarray.
Coe said it is this lack of organization that has created so many problems for the shelter in the past and urged the board to take his recommendations seriously.
â€œI am confident that if you don’t implement these things you will find yourself back where you were two months ago and it will crater again,â€ Coe said.
Well there’s hope now, which is more than we’ve been able to say for a while.
Story via News 8, New director takes over troubled animal shelter.
Cheryl Schneider has a big job ahead of her as the new shelter director for the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.
The shelter opened in April and already has had serious problems with animal overcrowding, staffing and other issues. Interim director Dana Boehm was arrested and charged with theft relating to her previous job at a Hutto clinic. The shelter is under two investigations for animal cruelty, and two families had their pets accidentally euthanized.
“That’s my biggest thing to have a good policy and procedure manual so that everybody works off the same page,” Schneider said.
The director’s position is both administrative and political, because she answers to the governing board made up of city leaders and county commissioners.
“I’m not really sure exactly how all that works at this point in time but I’m sure I’ll find out,” Schneider said.
Hmm…seems like somebody coming into a job with such political controversy surrounding the job would’ve been up on that before accepting it. And as far as everyone “work(ing) on the same page”, this doesn’t bode well (via Shelter Concerns).
One day the revised SOP is approved and the next day it’s not! On Monday, September 10 Williamson County Public Information Officer Connie Watson emailed me the “new operating procedures” Ethel Spence spoke of to the media. As you’ll remember the revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) contained language about animals going to research and changes to the 72-hour hold period, which has been shown to conflict with the County’s and citiesâ€™ ordinances.
I contacted Watson via email on Tuesday, September 11 with questions about the “Animals For Research” section. Later that day she emailed me stating that part of the SOP was not yet approved, but that “Ethel and Cheryl anticipated discussing it with the board for the future.” However, in a separate email I asked which SOP was being used, the one written by Melanie Sobel or the new one written by Ethel Spence. Watson replied to me via email on Friday, September 14 that the new SOP had not been approved. Why would someone in her position so freely send out an “unapproved” SOP? I guess when the public didn’t like what they heard it was easier to just say “Oh, it’s not approved YET”
The cities involved – Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander and Hutto – want this resolved soon, their patience is wearing thin. Mainly because this whole undertaking has become more costly, time consuming, and a nuisance. What was supposed to have been a solution has only caused more problems.
We wish Ms. Schneider well and hope she is the one with the skills that can turn the shelter into the solution it was meant to be. She can’t do it alone and will need, what up until now what has not been forthcoming, cooperation from the county.
Scott McDonald of the HCN wrote a disastrous column regarding the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter and pit bulls, One pressing county issue. A couple of excerpts below.
When a commercial comes on TV that I don’t like, I just push a button on my remote to make it disappear. I wish there was something similar that could be done about citizens who speak at council meetings regarding the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. I wish I could just press a mute button.
Those who are fanatical about protecting animals at our humane societies, shelters and rescue organizations have spoken loud and clear. And there’s one thing they should know by now: We just can’t push a button and make things that are wrong automatically go right.
There seems to be an abundance of pit bulls in the shelter. My question is why? These animals, for the most part, are bred to kill other dogs. We run a Pet of the Week every Friday in our paper, and about one-fourth of the dogs we’ve run have been pit bulls. That means a few of these vicious dogs are adoptable. That means every pit bull doesn’t get euthanized and the shelter tries to find those adoptable ones a home. But what gets me is how these dogs are called â€œsweet and lovingâ€ while they look like the spawn of Satan.
Although the county needs more opinion pieces holding it accountable and less of them giving them a pass, give the HCN, and McDonald some credit.Â After the HCN redesigned it’s website they have started allowing comments to it’s opinion pieces, and McDonald says he’s approved all the comments he’s received on this column. The comments are the funny part. They are the best part. Of course one of Williamson County’s finest had to show up:
I really wish all these “animal lovers” would get lost or “abused” themselves.
Just click on the link above and scroll to the bottom to begin reading them.Â It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, effect this instant response will have on his column.
AAS has now has a story up on the latest family pet to be euthanized at the WCRAS, Shelter euthanizes dog while owner tried to retrieve her.
When Jose Martinez of Hutto lost his dog last week, he was relieved to find her Tuesday at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.
He was escorted to the back of the shelter, where he identified his pit bull, Lady.
But as he filled out the paperwork to reclaim her, unknowing shelter staffers euthanized the dog.
Shelter manager Ethel Spence called Martinez over.
“We walked into her office; she closed the door and said, ‘We just euthanized your dog,’ ” he said.
Spence said the dog’s death was an accident.
The staff member who had accompanied Martinez was new, Spence said, and didn’t realize that Lady had been tagged for euthanization because she had tried to bite two shelter workers. When Martinez and the staff member went to fill out paperwork, another staffer took the dog to be euthanized.
“It was a very, very freak and unfortunate event,” Spence said. “I know how I would feel if it was my pet. All we can do is learn from a mistake and prevent it from happening again.”
It seems a little odd that animals are getting euthanized so quickly for “biting”. It would seem that dogs in a foreign environment like this would be a little edgy and prone to acting out of character. Meaning it would seem that at an animal shelter they’d be a little more forgiving than this. It appears the latest pet owner is now considering taking legal action.
Martinez is considering legal action and has hired Austin attorney Bill Aleshire, who also represents the Angelles.
“Why did it take another dog to change their policy?” Martinez said. “They say she was aggressive, but I went to pick her up, and they killed her while I was there.”
The Williamson County sheriff’s office is looking into whether an offense was committed, Detective John Foster said.
Here’s the letter [.PDF] the AAS has linked from Mr. Aleshire to Sheriff Wilson. The last line says it all.
I’ve been searching for any Williamson County elected official who gives a damn about this mess at the Shelter and will try to fix it. Are you the one?
The WCRAS has euthanized another family pet. Just like the last time they euthanized a family pet, it appears that another sweet family pet became aggressive while at the shelter and had to be “put down”.
Shelter officials say it was a combination of bad timing and miscommunication as to why Lady was put to sleep and that shelter employees were following policy.”It was the dog’s day to be euthanized because it was aggressive, and we weren’t able to adopt it. Our policy is we hold it for 72 hours and if it’s aggressive it’s usually euthanized,” interim shelter director Ethel Spence said.
Martinez said his sweet-eyed white dog was not aggressive and always wanted to play.
The shelter’s policy doesn’t say anything about temperament. It says an animal must be critically ill or seriously injured to be euthanized. There’s a discrepancy whether Lady was brought to the shelter Thursday or Friday. And, by shelter policy, Lady had barely been there three days when she was killed.
Shelter Concerns has information on the very Williamson County-like setup up of a new executive committee to oversee the shelter. It consists of 5 members: County Judge Dan Gattis, Sr. and members of each participating city (Cedar Park, Hutto, Leandra, and Round Rock).
One of the issues that the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander and Hutto noted in their letters to the County sent last Friday, August 24 is that they want an executive committee formed. I have since learned that when such meetings are held they are considered closed. Therefore, no one from the public would be allowed to attend and the meeting dates and times would not have to be made public. What a brillant idea for the elected officials…another way to keep eyes off of the shelter!
The committee has not met and does not have a meeting scheduled.
This week More than 40 dogs removed from Round Rock home. And it appears the WCRAS helped out as much as it could.
Half of the dogs were taken by an Austin Chihuahua rescue group called Jack’s Fur Angels of Texas; the rest were transferred to the Austin Humane Society on Wednesday after the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter called for help and the nonprofit organization Animal Trustees of Austin offered to pay for 20 of the Chihuahuas’ medical care.
This AAS article, Shelters unite to reduce pet overpopulation, updates us on the state of animal services in Williamson County.
Despite a string of problems at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, other local shelters have pushed forward with efforts to reduce the number of animals that are euthanized because of a lack of space.
The Humane Society of Williamson County, Georgetown’s shelter, the Central Texas Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the regional shelter united in March to form the Pet Alliance of Central Texas. The group’s first major event, Pet Expo, will include adoptions, demonstrations and other activities Oct. 20 at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown.
The regional shelter, which is in Georgetown, has not been involved in the alliance since former Director Melanie Sobel resigned in May, but shelter manager Ethel Spence said last week that the new management will take part.
One more thing from Shelter Concerns this lackluster response from Sheriff Jim Wilson regarding the criminal investigation of the shelter.
The comments below are in response to a letter I sent Williamson County Sheriff James R. Wilson in which I asked about the status of the criminal investigation into allegations of animal cruelty.
August 24, 2007
Dear Ms. Moses:
The investigation at the Animal Shelter is complex. It covers many issues and is on-going. I do not want to sound flippant, but it appears that the investigaton continues to grow. The most appropriate answer is simply that it will be completed when it is done. We have not reached that point yet. I speak to the investigator on a daily basis.
Thank you for your concern.
James R. Wilson
A letter sent to the county by Round Rock mayor Nyle Maxwell, and similar ones by the three other cities (Hutto, Cedar Park, and Leander), “are calling for more oversight and review of the facility”. AAS has the story, Cities urge county to take action on animal shelter, and a link to the letter [.PDF] from Mayor Maxwell.
The four cities partnering with Williamson County on the struggling regional animal shelter are calling for more oversight and review of the facility.
The city councils of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander and Hutto recently approved letters outlining a number of desired actions. Some of the letters were sent to county officials Friday.
It’s definitely understandable how the cities can be a little skittish about a shelter run by the county with their money. Especially since the county has been so unable to admit to and take responsibility for the problems at the shelter this far. Not sure yet whether this is the solution. The cities and the county would do themselves a great favor if they’d put some citizens, or non-interested third parties on this executive committee they propose. just a another committee, filled with insiders from the same old groups, won’t do much to change things.
There is an animal shelter board made up of representatives from all entities, and some cities’ officials say that the board should be making most of the shelter decisions, not the county.
“There is no clear accountability of who has the control and who doesn’t,” Rye said. “Under the current agreement, the county is responsible for hiring the executive director, but the board is responsible for reviewing performance. An ideal contract would specify who does the hiring and who does the firing.”
But some city leaders said the bigger problem is that the county is not listening to their concerns and recommendations.
No surprise in any of this. The county doesn’t listen to much of anyone. It would make sense, that if they create this board for performance reviews, they should also have the ability to hire and fire. The county does have one city official on their side.
Leander Mayor John Cowman praised the county’s recent efforts.
“We’re encouraged by the steps that have already been taken,” he said. “I think the judge has indicated his willingness to tackle the situation. It’s a regional effort, and we’re going to continue to . . . work through it.”
The saga continues.
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