The Latest On The WCRAS

Posted in Commissioners Court, Bad Government Republicans, Animal Shelter, Williamson County at 10:54 pm by wcnews

The county will pay a former shelter employee almost $30,000 even though the settlement “does not indicate wrongdoing on the part of the county”. From this we can assume that the county just pays huge sums to former employees that hire a lawyer after leaving. Via AAS,

A former Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter employee who was fired shortly after raising concerns about its conditions will receive $20,625 in a settlement with the county.

Former veterinary technician and staff supervisor Kathy Abdella was fired July 16, less than a week after she called 911 and spoke to the American-Statesman about concerns at the shelter, including the potential spread of disease.

She filed a grievance with the county, saying her termination violated the Texas Whistleblower Act and her rights of free speech.

The $27,500 settlement includes $6,875 for legal fees.

News 8 has a story on last night’s animal shelter board meeting and hoped for improvements. Commissioner Covey certainly isn’t treating her constituents like an elected official that wants to be reelected.

Everyone involved said they would just like to see improvements.

“It’s not about pointing fingers, it’s not about blame. What it’s really about it changing things for the positive for the animals,” Panipinto said.

Former volunteer Panipinto wants to make sure the board is following the law.

“The advisory committee required by the state has not been formed yet. Ms. Covey suggested in a flippant manner perhaps they could meet three weekends in a row and that would suffice,” she said.

But with a new shelter director and more funding in the works, even the toughest critics admit, things seem to be improving.

Shelter Concerns has more on the meeting and an old Republican friend is being brought on board with the WCRAS to make it more efficient. None other than former 2008 Precinct 4 commissioner candidate Gary Coe.

[Precinct 4 Commissioner Valerie] Covey also announced that the cities are aware of the increased budget costs for the shelter for the 2007-08 budget. Williamson County would like to hire Gary Coe, a Business Consultant, to help run the shelter. Leander representatives present at the board meeting were not aware of this. Covey stated that Coe would “get things moving, and would look to make processes efficient. He is able to get a handle on operations out there.” Clarke noted he would “improve efficiency which would impact staffing.” No fee was discussed for his services. The County will vote on at tomorrow’s meeting.

I wonder if the new director is aware of this? I thought that’s the reason they hired a new director. Why does the county need a consultant to look over the new director’s shoulder? Looks like an attempt to get a fellow Republican out there to oversee the new director. Who would be Mr. Coe’s boss and what accountability is there on him? Many, many questions arise with Mr. Coe in the picture. No to mention for all of Covey’s skittishness to spend money she sure doesn’t mind throwing some cash Mr. Coe’s way.

We’re lead to believe that things are looking up at the shelter but only time will tell. Commissioner Covey needs to remember that being cheap and not giving the shelter adequate resources, not just money but workers too, is what go them into this mess in the first place.

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