Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Mayor overrules the chairman of the Animal Control Board

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Animal Control Board meetings to be televised

Kudos to Mayor Ballard for overruling the IACC board chairman, David Horth, request that government channel 16 be excused from taping / broadcasting the IACC board meetings.

Heather Gillers, of the Indianapolis STAR, reports:

“If I have to carry a camera in there myself and televise it, we’ll do that,” said Chris Cotterill, the mayor’s chief of staff. “That’s how strongly the mayor believes in transparency.”

“Horth said he was trying to cut down on ‘grandstanding and showboating’ in the public comments portion of the meeting.

This kind of elitist attitude is contrary to the health of transparency in both government and animal welfare.

Government Access TV dismissed from IACC board meetings by Chairman David Horth

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it does.

The buzz word in local government is, “transparency.” But don’t count on it at your local Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC) Agency. Government access TV Channel 16 has been dismissed from IACC board meetings by newly elected board chair David Horth as of December 10, 2009.

Citizens who are interested in their city’s governance and how their tax money is being spent rely on the government access TV channel 16 to view board meetings. Many interested citizens have circumstances that preclude them from attending the live meetings. This audience includes those busy with animal rescue, those without transportation, the elderly and those with disabilities. Newly appointed Indianapolis Animal Care and Control board chair, David Horth, has asked channel 16 to stop coming to the meetings for the time being because with his experience he “…doesn’t feel we’ve benefitted at all from having the television cameras here.”

Mr. Horth, haven’t the pets of the month benefitted from the TV exposure? Too bad only 15 people saw the dog and cat available for adoption at this past meeting. Didn’t the “Friends of Animal Care and Control Foundation” benefit from their presentation to the public at the last meeting?

IACC is a troubled and grossly under-performing agency of city government and the decision to eliminate access TV suggests that it does not want the public to know any more than possible about its operations. For this reason especially is public access TV coverage needed.

Despite Mr. Horth’s dismissal of channel 16 from recording and broadcasting the meetings, constitutionally, he can’t dismiss public recording of this public meeting.

See the video clip for more of why Chairman Horth feels it necessary to deny the public the opportunity to view the channel 16 government access TV recordings of the IACC board meetings.

For the record, David Horth is also the board chair of the Humane Society of Indianapolis that hosted a meeting on July 25, 2009 with select city county councilors and HSI collaborative “partners” that led to the ouster of the pre-existing IACC administrator and his administrative team.

After the administrative change the city promoted the improvements in a press release:

Channel 6 recently visited with the new administration and the findings were not quite as wonderful: