Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Why was the September Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Advisory Board meeting repeatedly cancelled and did the board chair’s attempt at holding the monthly meeting contribute to his dismissal?

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Sec. 251-333. Officers, quorum, meetings. (c) The animal care and control board shall meet at least every month, or on special call of the chair, or upon the written request of any three (3) members with every other meeting being held at the shelter facility located at 2600 South Harding Street in the city

The September 9th IACC board meeting was cancelled that same morning due to “lack of quorum,” per interim safety director Mark Renner’s administrative assistant and board secretary, Erin Pratt. When board chairman Warren Patitz had not received validating notices of the two absences as had been customary in the past, he asked for, but was adamantly denied, the confirming documentation. The cancellation of the meeting was particularly coincidental and unfortunate because there had been significant public interest in hearing of the IACC management reporting on recent accomplishments and upcoming improvement plans. In addition, opportunity for public comment was denied.

Patitz shared with interim safety director Renner that a precedent had been set the previous year when a board meeting had remained scheduled without a quorum as well as questioned the role of the secretary to wield the authority to cancel meetings – the response was abrupt, dismissive and followed up by a call from the city attorney in an attempt to discourage further inquiry about the matter.

Patitz rescheduled the board meeting for Sept 23rd to abide by the ordinance. However, approximately two hours prior to the meeting he received a call from Mayor Ballard’s chief of staff, Paul Okeson, to dismiss him from the board. Curiously, Mr. Okeson at that time expressed that he did not feel that lack of a quorum would especially justify cancelling the meeting, but shortly thereafter the meeting was cancelled. Again, administrator Doug Rae and his staff were denied the opportunity to report on progress at the agency and again the public was denied public comment.