Tensions High At Humane Society Meeting
The regular monthly meeting of the Oregon Coast Humane Society was filled with questions from the audience ranging from concerns at the thrift shop and conditions at the shelter, to the demeanor of the board of directors. At times the Board was informative and genuine, but after some questions went unanswered by the board the crowd became contentious. One Community member, Candice Thompson was not happy with her perception of the board’s lack of respect.
“I’ve been reading about what’s been going on at the Humane Society in the newspaper and frankly I’m flabbergasted with the disrespect members of this community. (applause out)”
Despite the mood of the crowd the board continued to take audience comments from a room of about 50 people including one Florence Police officer. Several issues arose concerning the employment status of a couple of Thrift Store employees which the board was not willing to discuss because they said they were discussing the matter in executive session causing some members to be even more vocal. A question was raised about the practice of fostering and taking home shelter food to feed foster dogs. The audience was mixed on their feelings, some believing it to be theft while others said the food was donated to the shelter dogs whether they were in cages in the shelter, or cared for in a home. Audience member Jack Hannigan
“I get food from shelter. It’s expensive. That same food would be used if that dog was in the cage. I need that food because I’m on retirement and they give me a 50 pound bag a month.”
Another issue raised was the program that had previously allowed individuals to take animal for walks on the beach. The board explained that new insurance regulations meant that the program would have to change the way it was being done, but that they were in the process of implementing new rules that would allow walkers to accompany dogs on beach walks.
Audience Looks For More Cooperation
Former Humane Society Board Member Til Parker says that while there are many good things that can be said about the current board and the accomplishments that have been achieved, he believes that the board is not forthcoming on many issues.
“The Problem is things are happening that need action but instead of facing them and going forward in a positive manner and using all the energy that we see here at the board meetings they’re choosing to just stonewall, stonewall the public.”
Parker says that many of the concerns of the public attending the meetings could in his opinion be dealt with by having certain responsible parties at the meeting to update the public on things like shelter financial reports.
“There are a lot of questions that could have been answered by these responsible, key individuals being here and they weren’t and I don’t understand why they weren’t.”
While there were still many questions on the minds of the attendees the meeting was calm except for a couple of outbursts of applause favoring comments from the audience. Board member Ed Gervais told Coast Radio News that he felt the criticisms from community members were not reflective of the work that was being accomplished and that certain audience members were present to stir up discontent for the board. Following the meeting the board went into executive session
Festival of Trees
The Oregon Coast Military Museum is getting the information out about this year’s Festival of Trees. The event will be Saturday and Sunday, November 25th and 26th. Community members can sponsor their own tree for just $100.00 or they can purchase a table of 8 for $300.00. The event will be held at the Florence Event Center. This year’s theme is “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and will feature a spectacular array of beautifully decorated trees, holiday wreaths, stockings and a visit with Santa. For more information or to sponsor a tree or purchase seating you can visit the oregoncoastmilitarymuseum.com