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The Lake News Online
  • Our View: Steamrolling the way to an animal facility

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  • Last week at a public meeting, Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken seemed surprised that anyone would question his decision to buy a former Missouri Department of Transportation facility in Montreal and transform it into an animal shelter.
    He made no effort before the fact to see what the Montreal community’s reaction might be.
    He apparently didn’t make any effort to determine if in fact it is even legal to spend county tax dollars on the facility without a vote to do so.
    Since the money appears to be coming from the sale of another piece of property, it is likely ok, but what Franken implied was that it had been voted on by the county residents.
    We wonder if Franken has thought through the ongoing costs of staffing, renovation, waste disposal and other issues associated with the
    project.
    Such funding might prove costly for a county that hasn't seen a significant increase in sales tax revenue for the last few years.
    Public reaction and the ongoing cost of staffing are all things worth pondering before making a decision and announcing to the public that he is going forward.
    Perhaps Franken feared his associate commissioners would have alternative views. Unlikely, but possible.
    As is his way, the current sheriff is just following along, providing statistics that show the need for an animal shelter but not giving any specifics about how such an operation would work in coordination with his department.
    As Franken himself points out, this is a law-enforcement issue, it just appears he just wants to be in charge.
    While a county animal shelter is a serious need, the steamrolling tactics that are the hallmark of the presiding commissioner’s management style are not setting well in Montreal and elsewhere.
    The commissioner needs to do his homework before he dictates to people who pay taxes.
    The neighbors concerns about noise and smell are reasonable although such facilities run according to the rules tend to be little trouble and the location itself addresses the issue.
    We hope the county will give due consideration to the neighbors’ concerns before moving forward with this project.
    The need for an animal shelter is underlined by the frequency that animal-control calls are made to the sheriff’s department.
    The need for a solution to the problem of stray animals has been on the Camden County agenda for two decades.
    There's no question something needs to be done.
     

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