Saturday, November 13, 2010


It appears that the Stark County commissioners are gluttons for punishment.

For years now, Stark Countians have complained often, loudly, and vigorously and yet the commissioners appear to have been unable to take care of the festering problem.

Recently, they hired a new dog warden.  She is Reagan Tetreault, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but more recently of Holmes County, where she still lives.  Seemingly, the commissioners did the correct thing in hiring Tetreault, at least from an "animal" and "dog pound experience" standpoint.

A reader of the SCPR provided The Report with a link to a radio interview done with Tetreault on August 19, 2009.  For those readers who want the background on her, the radio interview is the place to go.  When you get to the site that the SCPR provides, go to August 19, 2009 and click on "Reagan Tetreault."  (see graphic below for guidance).  CLICK HERE to go to the radio website.

Tetreault of Tuscarwas County worked at the Holmes County Dog Pound, first as a deputy, then as warden going back about two years.  On May 24, 2010 she was hired by the Stark County commissioners to replace Evert Gibson as warden at the Stark County Dog Pound (SCDP - Pound).  Commissioners fired Gibson in April because of the many problems at the Pound that they felt Gibson had failed to deal effectively with.

Tetreault has worked at the SCDP for almost six months now.  The question that commissioners should be asking is this:  Is Tetreault showing enough progress in managing the unionized workers at the Pound to justify keeping her on?

Some members of the Stark County Dog Pound Advisory Board (SCDPAB - Board) think that Tetreault has had enough time to show more progress than she has.  But has she?

One has to remember that Gibson had some five to six years to deal with the problems, but appears to have failed to get the upper hand on them.  Hence, his firing.

The SCPR believes that the commissioners have confidence that Tetreault will, in time, get the union members under control.  Commissioners will not say it, but The Report has reason to think that the commissioners believe that the union has de facto control of the Pound. All the commissioners are Democrats, and, as is common knowledge, Democrats tread very lightly where union issues come up, because unions provide campaign contributions and campaign workers almost exclusively to Democrat candidates for public office.

So what would lead the commissioners to think that Tetreault or any other manager of the SCDP could manage the Pound members of Local 92 - Teamsters union?

The SCPR does not think the problems  at the Pound (no matter who the warden is) are going away until and unless the commissioners have someone like Mike Hanke (the county's chief administrator) to knock heads with the bigs at Local 92.  But will they do it?

Well, Commissioners Meeks and Bosley won't.  Although both lost elections this November, The Report does not think they are done with politics, and if they are not done with politics, it would not be a wise move to take on the Teamsters Union.

So who will?

Perhaps the combo of  Republican Janet Creighton (former mayor of Canton) and Democrat Tom Bernabei, both of who were newly elected on November 2nd.  Democrat Bernabei?  Maybe?  As long time law director for Canton and having held a number of positions in Canton city government, Bernabei is used to dealing with unions.   Maybe, just maybe, he through the likes of Hanke can communicate to Local 92 that it is in the interest of the union to get their Pound members under control.

As the SCPR sees it, the commissioners are the key for anyone to being able to manage the Pound effectively.  If they want to solve the Pound problems, then they have to "persuade" the union to corral in the problem employees at the Pound.

Being Stark County commissioner is absolutely the worst elected job in all of Stark County these days.  If the county cannot convince voters to renew a 0.25 sales tax in May or, alternatively, a "dedicated to the criminal justice system" sales tax; then come 2012 Stark County will be trying to provide services for $35 million a year compared to $56 million or thereabouts in 2010.  It ain't going to work folks, but won't citizens still expect undiminished services?

One thing the commissioners should be looking at is privatizing the Pound.  It could be that the county by state law is mandated to have a pound.  However, if that is the case, state law can be changed.  Especially with the likes of Republican Todd Snitchler (state Rep. 50th House District) being in a leadership role in Columbus.

Snitchler has to be Stark County's premier advocate of "anything government does, private enterprise can do better."  So why not him to demonstrate his unbridled faith in the private sector with the SCDP?  With the Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly majority come January 1, 2011, and with a Republican governor, all of whom are in the thrall of the private sector in varying degrees; legislation to turning dog pounds over to private enterprise - if needed - should be a slam-dunk for Snitchler.

If Snitchler were to take this project on, there would be a strong dose of irony to his doing so.

How's that?

Well, Snitchler was challenged by Commissioner Bosley for the 50th House District seat this past November 2nd whom Snitchler defeated 61% to 39% and, wouldn't it be quite a coup for Snitchler to solve a problem that Bosley couldn't for four years of being commissioner?

Undoubtedly, commissioners-elect Creighton and Bernabei would be eternally grateful, no?

Here is a video showing a sampling of the outrage that dog lovers have at the way the SCDP is operating these days.

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