|(Jan. 9, 2019, 1:00 p.m., clarifier added Jan. 10, 1:40 p.m.) -- As carried LIVE on LBREPORT.com and reported in summary form on our front page and Facebook platform, the City Council voted
LBREPORT.com considers the gag order issue significant beyond animal advocacy matters and has compiled a transcript of salient Council statements along with on-demand audio of the entire including the city staff presentation (Ted Stevens), public testimony and response from City Council and Mayor Garcia at this link click here. (11:40)
An agendizing memo signed by Parks, Rec & Marine Director Gerardo Mouet indicated the proposed contract with Helen Sanders Cat Protection and Welfare Society, of Boulder, CO and The Little Lion Foundation, of Long Beach, CA (which would operate jointly under the title "Long Beach Little Paws Project (LBLPP)") would include the following term:
Publicity: Where possible, LBACS will assist LBLPP with the promotion, marketing, adoption, and placement of kittens once they are suitable for adoption. CatPAWS, LLF and jointly as LBLPP, and LBACS, will not use the other party's name, marks or logos in any advertising, promotional material, press release, publication, public announcements, or through other media, whether written or oral, without the prior written consent of the other parties. Additionally, no one affiliated, staff or volunteer, with any party in this agreement will engage in negative verbal behavior or written posting towards another party on social media or other online or public venues or make negative, defamatory or inciting remarks about another party in this agreement. LBACS and LBLPP will jointly review any perceived negative behavior and/or written posting to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. If the violation cannot be resolved in an agreeable manner, then the violation may be grounds for Notice of Cancellation of the agreement. LBACS reserves the right to determine, at its sole discretion, what is negative verbal or written posting behavior.
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No Kill Long Beach founder Patricia Turner, PhD and supporters of No Kill Long Beach (NKLB) supported establishment of the kitten nursery. Dr. Turner said it's the type of community partnership that NKLB has advocated as part of the "No Kill Equation" for roughly six years.
However Dr. Turner and NKLB supporters Alex Armstrong and Kristi Mamelli opposed inclusion of a contractual "gag order" (text below). Dr. Tuner noted that a number of her criticisms of LB Animal Care Services over the past six years that have been vindicated by the City Auditor's performance audit of LBACS. She said Mayor Garcia had hidden peoples' social network posts during the last election cycle, said she'd dedicated nearly all her free time to help change LB's animal shelter, and said people on the Council [whom she didn't name] had threatened to sue her for saying things that Dr. Turner said were true.
"Thank you very much, next speaker please," Mayor Garcia said in response. Mr. Armstrong and Ms. Mamelli then spoke against inclusion of the contractual gag order.
[Jan. 10 clarifier] Deborah Felin, a supporter of the Helen Sanders non-profit, tells LBREPORT.com that expenses mainly toward spay neuter will far outstrip any city contribution. Ms. Felin adds that if the group does manage to take in 500 kitttens, that's $100 a cat and barely pays for spay neuter and vaccinations, and plus dealing with ill kittens and food, rent and utilities. [end Jan. 10 clarifier]
When the item returned for Council discussion, Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce voiced concern about the gag order text, which prompted colloquy in an unofficial transcript prepared for our readers by LBREPORT.com:
Councilwoman Pearce:...I know that there's been some tense moments over the last couple of years and I know that some of the concern has been around false information. Is there a way that we could amend this to make sure that, you know, that people can share accurate information around accurate numbers at our shelters? It does seem vague and I'm just wondering if there was a way to tighten up the language.
(LBREPORT.com provides on-demand audio of the full item at this at this link. (11:40) (first speaker is outgoing LBACS manager Ted Stevens)
With no other Councilmembers raising concerns about the gag order text, the Council vote followed. The motion to approve (made at the start of the item) was by Mungo, seconded by Pearce. The Council vote was 7-0 (Austin absent, Gonzalez present via teleconference earlier, not present on Council vote.)
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