|(May 5, 2019, 7:20 p.m.) -- Councilmembers Jeannine Pearce, Lena Gonzalez, Suzie Price and Stacy Mungo have agendized an item for the May 7 City Council meeting that would effectively approve policies at the LB's Animal Shelter described in ways that mimic "no kill" verbiage but effectively enable LB's city-taxpayer-operated facility to continue killing dogs and cats on management-decided terms. If approved by a Council majority as it currently stands, their item which can be viewed in full here would effectively ratify the record of LB Mayor Robert Garcia and all incumbent Councilmembers who over a period of several years have stubbornly refused to agendize a presentation of options offered by "no kill" advocates to reduce kllings at LB's taxpayer-funded city-operated animal shelter.
On its Facebook page, No Kill Long Beach writes in pertinent part:
On May 7, LB City Council will vote on an agenda item that is designed to definitively keep killing as the centerpiece of the Long Beach shelter...Although the City tries to dress it up and use No Kill terminology, the model is a shameful attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the public and is the polar opposite of No Kill...In other words, Compassion saves is more "business as usual," with the killing of our shelter pets slated to continue.
To paraphrase John Kennedy's words from another context: those who make overdue change impossible, make political changes inevitable.
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|We make no predictions as to whether the issue may or may not affect the current state Senate runoff involving a Council incumbent and in four 2020 re-election races by Council incumbents. In an era of election upsets, we presume nothing...and the state Senate election may be a very low turnout in which a few hundred votes could swing the result.
What is clear in our view is that LB's Mayor and Council incumbents have over a period of years stubbornly refused to agendize an item even to discuss, much less take voted action to implement, "no kill" practices at LB's city run animal shelter. In this, we believe they are on the wrong side of history. We believe the record shows that that in trying to avoid that overdue public discussion, the Mayor and Council have only escalated the chronic issue further.
On May 7, all of this will come to a head at a moment when it might have political consequences.
If the Council approves the item as now agendized, "no kill" advocates may practice "trust but verify" with new shelter management, but that doesn't mean they'll remain quiet in the upcoming elections.
In blunt terms, if the Council adopts the May 7 item that no kill advocates consider basically a camouflaged version of the status quo, how many votes might that cost state Senate candidate Gonzalez in her runoff happening now? How many votes might that cost up to four incumbents who may vie for re-election in 2020?
At this point, no one knows for sure.
However in LBREPORT.com's opinion, it would behoove at least a couple of Councilmember(s) on May 7 to offer a friendly amendment, or if necessary make a substitute motion, to hold off a policy setting decision until after the Council conducts an overdue deserved agendized discussion that unflinchingly confronts the pros and cons, costs and benefits, of implementing no kill shelter policies. On that agenda item, it should allow Dr. Turner of No Kill Long Beach to present the group's proposals for at least 15 uninterrupted minutes, including PPT slides, and then field no-nonsense questioning by Councilmembers.
That would be respectable Council policy setting, not rubberstamping what LB's management and non-voting Mayor want done.
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