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Alameda City Council Considers Outsourcing Animal Shelter

By Erica Madison and Staff Reports

Eliminating nine police officer positions or outsourcing the animal shelter.

This is just one of the many choices and alternatives acting City Manager Lisa Goldman provided the City Council with at last week’s special joint meeting of the Alameda City Council, Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority and Community Improvement Commission.

The option is to phase out the animal shelter and outsource the services, which would result in the elimination of four police officer positions, or keep the animal shelter and fire nine police officers.

“The Animal shelter costs $947,000. Outsourcing would cost only $100,000. Revenue from the animal shelter is only $95,000 so it’s not enough for Alameda city to maintain its shelter”, said City Manager Lisa Goldman.

Goldman also informed City Council on the consequences eliminating nine police officers. “…This would over burden officers and delay robbery and crime division as well as officers who monitor parolees such as sexual offenders and the traffic division”.

However, at this week’s City Council meeting, on Tuesday evening, Alameda resident Janet Davis told Council and Action Alameda News that the choice between having more police on duty or having the animal shelter is a false one.

“The two need not be connected, and modern well-run shelters are not run by police departments. We have a low cost, low maintenance, shelter building and there is no reason it cannot continue to function and manage our animal population in a humane way.” Ms. Davis is the national director of a dog breed rescue organization.

For the city of Alameda to close its shelter and ‘outsource’ the animals to any surrounding shelter, she said, is very short sighted and would only increase the kill rate at the receiving shelter. Shelters in the cities of Fremont and Hayward have been mentioned as possible recipients of Alameda’s animals.

In addition to these proposed cuts the Main library will start closing on Sundays. The West library and Bay Farm Library open only four days a week instead of five. Part-time employees will be reduced.

There will also be a reduction in subscriptions and new book purchases.

5 comments to Alameda City Council Considers Outsourcing Animal Shelter

  • Why are we reducing services when people who won’t do their jobs, are being paid over a quarter of a million dollars per year? We need to look at what we pay people, not what we spend on programs. Clear out the overpaid deadwood, and keep the services that our Citizens want, and staff them with competent people paid with reasonable salaries, not outrageous bounties dictated by their unions.

  • Barb

    My question to Adam: With the proven leadership and management that has been at Alameda’s helm the last 5 years, who is really able to do anything now? And we are booked with Russo for 5 and locking in the last touches on new union contracts for our public employees.

    Too many little cities are going broke re-inventing the wheel. Isn’t it time to take a look at the optimal management level and sizes for municipalities? If Alameda does not approach minimal size, why not consolidate some services with other cities or the County?

    Why is the most liberal city in the County (Berkeley; UCB 79) the most well run, and financially well balanced in the County?

    If Alameda needs to contract out to the Sheriff and County for Fire and police, and County Counsel, that may be a solution to our bankruptcy. Why not have libraries at the County level too? Sure local nuances can be put in place by local persons, but think of the possible savings.
    How many employees need to be on staff in a department before one needs a $250k plus Department head? (Add 35% in addition to salary for non-public safety employees for benefits and 60% in addition to public safety salaries). If this were your company and your profits at issue, how many employees and levels of supervision really are needed?

    The most critical department in our City is Public Works. It touches each of our lives every day, through streets, sidewalks, sewers etc. The most valuable employee in this City is a competent Public Works Director. Always has been, always will be. Its nice to have employees at highly paid levels, but not really necessary. And as has just been proven, a total waste of funds at the Fire and Police department levels. And we have been operating without a City Manager for months.

    Then maybe we could also look at traffic issues that really affect the quality of our day to day lives on a more realistic regional level. Development would not be approved in Alameda, if it ruined access to Highway 80 through Chinatown. EIR’s now pit each cities development against another. With the quickest and most monied developers winnning out. Just thoughts. I can think of no other solutions. And the downward leadership vaccum and resulting spiral that has been draining Alameda is not getting better. Ask Mr. Zack.

  • alameda vigilante

    Christine Smith’s ltr 2 the Jun 9 Alameda Sun is very worth noting. The new housing development, Grand Marina, is built right up to the present shelter. Once its gone, the shelter will likely be flattened to make room for more “big ugly new homes w/no yards” further implementing the MTC/ABAG mandate to crowd some 4000 new residences into Alameda’s Northern Waterfront. Even if you don’t have a pet, if UR AGAINST unbridled residential development in Alameda, a la SUNCAL, you should oppose closure of the Animal Shelter.
    Christine’s idea to move the Animal Shelter to the Navy Base is a good one. By the time it is built out there, maybe we’d have a new Council!

  • Karen

    All these shenanigans going on, I don’t even want to live in Alameda any more. But who would buy my house in such a poorly-run city?

  • NIA

    Council and AUSD, High standard administration make good salary,over 100K but inefficiency job. Scary and Untrustworthy….

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