I’ve been thinking about the “limited animal control” recently discussed in the Borough Assembly and that has been passed on to the ballot for voters to decide. Before we get sentimental about the situation, and I say that because it’s easy to be distracted from reality when the issue is about children or puppies, we should ask some serious questions.
Who came up with the start-up costs? How was that determined, line-by-line? To whom and to what would that apply? Who came up with the particular number of .02 for a mill rate increase to cover ongoing costs? Is this scheme going to go up for bid, or is it “understood” that someone in particular will be in charge of this “limited” animal control? Have those Assembly members that think this is acceptable actually considered the cost to cover the geographical area involved? What about equipment costs, maintenance, replacement of gear, fuel costs, and so on? How many vehicles will be needed? How many people will need to be hired to cover the peninsula? Has any sort of cap on costs been put in place, or is it another open-ended, never ending increase for taxpayers, and in this case rural-specific taxpayers? Where will rescued/confiscated animals be housed while the owners await investigation, charges, and court? Will there be adequate insurance and legal coverage when lawsuits are filed?
The word “limited” has been used. What does that mean? What limits? What is the specific definition of “limited animal control” in this context? Unless, this is spelled-out to the voters in great specificity, I believe this will be a train wreck piece of business. Oh wait, it already is that. What I believe is “limited” may not be how someone else views that term.
I think the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly showed a real knack for laziness and cowardice in passing this onto the voters. I say laziness because it seems many are unwilling to take their responsibilities seriously enough to expect and insist upon actual facts with costs and consequences spelled out. I say cowardice because it seems that in the spirit of “passing the buck” some Assembly members may have feared looking to be against saving helpless puppies or starving horses by asking these questions before passing this mess onto the voting public.
There are many questions that need to be answered before we vote in favor of something as ambiguous as this “limited animal control” measure. We, the voters, the rural voters will have to do the job the Assembly was too lazy and afraid to do themselves, and that is to consider all the aspects of this proposal before voting to pass it.