BREAKING: No help for animals from Martin County BCC

“Commissioners Sarah Heard and Ed Fielding tried to persuade their colleagues that this is an important contract that should be properly negotiated.  But none of the other commissioners or staff demonstrated any interest in Martin County animals or acknowledged our responsibility to protect them.” – Ginny Sherlock

 

Reporting from today’s Martin County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting, renowned local attorney, civic activist, and former Associated Press editor Ginny Sherlock: At today’s Martin County Commission meeting, Adrianna Carroll of the Pegasus Foundation and I were the only members of the public to address the Commission regarding the Request for Proposals to provide animal care services after the expiration of the contract with the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast last September.

 

The RFP that was prepared and published by staff on June 30 (the Friday before a holiday weekend) was obviously designed to ensure that only HSTC could submit a timely response.

 

I asked the Commission to consider extending the time for responders to submit a proposal, but the County Attorney, County Administrator and purchasing agent fought very hard to make sure that no one but HSTC will be in a position to respond.  They objected to the request for more time to respond to the RFP because it came from the public, not from a potential responder.

 

The County Attorney and County Administrator urged the Commission to simply ignore the request.  They made no effort to hide their disdain for any potential shelter operator except HSTC, which the County Attorney said has been providing services without a contract for many months and may simply refuse to provide further services at any time.

 

Commissioner Ed Ciampi left no doubt that the HSTC will be awarded the contract regardless of any other proposals that may be submitted.  Commissioners Doug Smith and Harold Jenkins joined Ciampi in refusing to direct staff to prepare a proper RFP or to extend the time for a response to a more reasonable period than the 26 calendar days (about 8 working days) allowed by staff.

 

I am sorry that other animal advocates were not present to speak up for the animals.  Commissioners Sarah Heard and Ed Fielding tried to persuade their colleagues that this is an important contract that should be properly negotiated.  But none of the other commissioners or staff demonstrated any interest in Martin County animals or acknowledged our responsibility to protect them.

 

Commissioner Jenkins expressed no concern for animals at all, stating that he just wanted to “be done” with this matter.

 

Commissioner Ciampi praised HSTC, and Commissioner Smith said he did not support putting the contract out to bid.

 

The hard-working and dedicated members of the DAC Task Force who diligently pursued and submitted recommendations for a new animal care contract last September have been replaced by an Animal Care and Control Oversight Board that has met only twice since it was established in December of last year.  The ACCOB meeting that was scheduled for this month (on July 20) has been cancelled because there are not enough members willing to attend to establish a quorum.  I do not know when another meeting will be scheduled.

 

If there was ever any doubt that County staff is fully behind HSTC and has virtually no interest in animal welfare, it was eliminated at this morning’s BCC meeting.  

 

See the purchasing agent’s e-mail below requesting a reply from any potential responder who wants more time to respond to the RFP for animal care services:

From: Nicole Carey [mailto:ncarey@martin.fl.us
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 10:15 AM
To: ‘ambersanimaloutreach@gmail.com‘ <ambersanimaloutreach@gmail.com>; ‘monique@petvets.com‘ <monique@petvets.com>; ‘caninecollegefl@yahoo.com‘ <caninecollegefl@yahoo.com>; ‘info@cffelines.org‘ <info@cffelines.org>; ‘cgreer@city-ftpierce.com‘ <cgreer@city-ftpierce.com>; ‘blloyd@cityofpsl.com‘ <blloyd@cityofpsl.com>; ‘dogsncatsforever@gmail.com‘ <dogsncatsforever@gmail.com>; ‘maris@dominoshouse.org‘ <maris@dominoshouse.org>; ‘info@furryfriendsadoption.com‘ <info@furryfriendsadoption.com>; ‘halonokillrescue@gmail.com‘ <halonokillrescue@gmail.com>; ‘unitedway4animal@aol.com‘ <unitedway4animal@aol.com>; ‘fvalente@hstc1.org‘ <fvalente@hstc1.org>; ‘cmorse@hsvb.org‘ <cmorse@hsvb.org>; ‘puppyrescue365@outlook.com‘ <puppyrescue365@outlook.com>; ‘nalasrescue@gmail.com‘ <nalasrescue@gmail.com>; ‘pbcacc@pbcgov.org‘ <pbcacc@pbcgov.org>; ‘jgrandy@pegasusfoundation.org‘ <jgrandy@pegasusfoundation.org>; ‘takeushometoday@gmail.com‘ <takeushometoday@gmail.com>; ‘suzi@tricountyhumane.org‘ <suzi@tricountyhumane.org>; Virginia Sherlock <vsherlock@lshlaw.net>; ‘pauline@cffelines.org‘ <pauline@cffelines.org>; ‘steve@aerostruc.net‘ <steve@aerostruc.net>
Subject: Request for Proposals – Martin County Domestic Animal Shelter

 

A reminder that proposals are due no later than 2:30 on July 26, 2017.

 

If you plan to submit a proposal and you feel you need additional time to prepare your submittal, please request a time extension via return e-mail no later than Noon on Wednesday, July 19th.

 

If you have any questions, please direct them to me. Potential vendors and/or their agents are prohibited from communicating with any other County staff and Commissioners regarding this RFP during the proposal process.

 

Nicole Carey

Purchasing Manager

Martin County Board of County Commissioners

2401 SE Monterey Road

Stuart, FL 34996

772-288-5481

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