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.