From Ginny Sherlock, renowned local attorney, civic activist, and former Associated Press editor: Four of five County Commissioners voted Tuesday to “reconstitute” the Domestic Animal Control Task Force by removing all members of the public, citizens who care about animals and who have worked so hard to protect and advocate for them, and to re-establish the Task Force to consist of four veterinarians and one representative of the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.
The new mission of the Task Force will be to provide “oversight” of the HSTC contract with Martin County for animal care services.
The County Legal Department has been directed to draft revisions to County animal care and control ordinances, with no policy direction from the Commission, and the interim County Attorney said that will include tracking state law which allows “heart stick” to be used to euthanize animals at the HSTC shelter.
Commissioner Harold Jenkins made the motion which was seconded by Commissioner Ed Fielding to do away with the citizen task force.
Commissioners Jenkins and Fielding were joined by Commissioners Doug Smith and Ed Ciampi in making it clear that members of the public will have nothing to say about how their tax dollars are spent on the care of stray, abandoned, or feral animals in Martin County.
Members of the public were not given an opportunity to address the commission regarding the motion to do away with the citizen task force.
And despite an excellent presentation by Animal Welfare Management Services consultant Karel Minor which stressed the lack of transparency for operations at the HSTC shelter, Commissioners Jenkins, Fielding, Smith and Ciampi focused their discussions on how to eliminate public participation in animal care and control policies in Martin County rather than how to provide more information about what HSTC is doing with $560,000-a-year in tax dollars and how animals are treated at the Palm City shelter.
Commissioner Sarah Heard was the lone voice for the animals on the Commission at today’s meeting.
She tried hard to persuade Commissioners Fielding and Jenkins to join her in allowing the Task Force to continue its good work.
But Commissioners Jenkins, Fielding, Smith and Ciampi made it clear that they have no interest in allowing citizens to participate in decisions regarding the treatment of animals in Martin County.
Commissioners Jenkins, Fielding, Smith and Ciampi made it clear that they have no interest in pursuing a “no kill” policy for Martin County.
Commissioners Jenkins, Fielding, Smith and Ciampi made it clear that they have no interest in revising County ordinances to provide for compassionate, humane care of animals in our community.
Commissioners Jenkins, Fielding, Smith and Ciampi made it clear that Martin County is no place for animals.