Friday, January 12, 2018

City Council Fills Occupied ASAC Seat

San Angelo's City Council approved the appointment of Health Services Director Sandra Villareal to the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee (ASAC) on December 12, 2017.  District 3's Harry Thomas made the appointment of Villareal, a city employee, to serve on a board intended to garner public input and provide public oversight.

Oddly, two days later the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee met with District 3
representative David Howard in attendance.  There was no mention of his resignation, no letter of resignation in the board packet or announcement made during the meeting.

The City's position on serving with its boards and commissions states:

The City of San Angelo offers a number of ways for its citizens to become actively involved in government business. In addition to the opportunity citizens have to express their thoughts at City Council meetings and public hearings, San Angelo citizens also may apply to serve on one of many boards and commissions (some restrictions apply). Unless otherwise stated, all vacancies are by appointment and approved by the City Council. 
The City's website gives the purpose for the ASAC:

The Animal Shelter Advisory Committee makes recommendations regarding Animal Services policy to the City Council. 
It lists the following information regarding the Animal Services Advisory Committee:

Consists of seven residents appointed by the City Council: one licensed veterinarian; one member shall own, operate or otherwise be employed by or in a business related to the production, sale, distribution or care of animals or livestock; two members shall represent a nonprofit animal interest group or groups whose membership is comprised primarily of citizens of the city and whose primary interest is the health and welfare of animals; and, the remaining three members shall be residents of the city and need not have any other affiliation, membership or association.

Of the four people appointed by City Council on 12-12-17 only Sandra Villareal had no board application in the background packet.

Ms. Villareal was formerly over the City Animal Shelter.  She led an effort targeting the Mejor Que Nada community cat colony and joked with Public Information Officer Anthony Wilson via e-mail about shooting community cats.

Sandra recently fulfilled a longtime promise to former Shelter Director Robert Diaz by hiring him as an Environmental Health Inspector.  Diaz either oversaw a circle of horrors or the best Animal Shelter in Tom Green County.  The City employed two different narratives on the state of the shelter in June 2017.

City Manager Daniel Valenzuela can involve Sandra however he wishes in advising Bob Salas and Morgan Chegwidden on Animal Services Policy.  That's his management prerogative.

Surely there were members of the public interested in animal welfare that could have been appointed.  The City Animal Shelter has been insular and obstructive on a number of fronts, one of which has been the composition of the ASAC.  Many animal advocates have applied only to hear nothing from city staff.

City Councilman Harry Thomas' appointment of Ms. Villareal is a continuation of the "circle the wagons" approach the city employs at the Animal Shelter.  Thomas said three words when Villareal's nomination came up on December 12th.  "So moved" followed by "Aye." 


Jim Turner said...

Need to update your membership criteria. From the Code of Ordinances
Sec. 2.07.543 Composition

(a) The committee shall consist of seven members which shall be designated as positions one through seven.

(b) The members shall be appointed by the city council. The following membership criteria shall apply:

(1) Position one shall be filled by a veterinarian.

(2) Position two shall be filled by a municipal or county official.

(3) Position three shall be filled by a person whose duties include the daily operation of an “animal shelter” as that term is defined in section 823.001 of the Health and Safety Code.

(4) Position four shall be filled by a person who is an officer or employee of an animal welfare organization.

(5) Positions five through seven shall be filled by residents of the city.

Sandra is filling position 2. This is in there because it's also a state law requirement for Animal Shelter Advisory Committees. Health and Safety code chapter 823, Animal Shelters.

PEU Report/State of the Division said...

Thank you Jim. The information from this post came from the City's website. They may want to take you up on your advice.