Sunday, May 23, 2010


From the get-go Stark County's new dog warden Reagan Tetrault is established as a memorable person.

How's that?

Pronouncing her name is proving to be a challenge to county officials.

But those same county officials (Commissioners Bosley, Ferguson and Meeks) are hoping she becomes memorable for other reasons.  They desperately need her to clean up the mess at the Stark County Dog Pound. 

Recently, the commissioners dismissed Evert Gibson as warden because of their dissatisfaction with how he was managing the facility. 

To replace Gibson, the commissioners asked the Stark County Dog Pound Advisory Board (DPAB) to screen through about 127 applications for the position.  They did, but getting the commissioners to appoint one of the persons on their approved list ended up in a swirl of controversy.

What controversy?

First, despite a seeming okay from commissioners that a member of the DPAB could sit in on the interviews evaporated when DPAB member Steve Swank (a Canton policeman) showed up on the first day of two days of interviews.

Second, word leaked out that the commissioners were about to hire someone who what not on the list of five recommended by the DPAB.

The DPAB membership reaction?

The sent a e-mail protesting the implementation of the hiring process by commissioners and they threatened to resign en masse.  Moreover, they showed up at the meeting at which Ms. Tetreault was hired during which Commissioner Bosley and DPAB member Swank had a bitter exchange with Bosley demanding twice that Swank apologize to the applicant that the commissioners supposedly were going to hire other than Tetrault.

Accordingly, this who situation bears watching.

You can be sure that Warden Tetrault (beginning Monday, May 24th) will be under intense scrutiny from all quarters:  the commissioners, the Animal Coalition, the DPAB, the Friends of the Pound as well as all other stakeholders in the care of Stark County dogs.

And Tetrault has precious little time to establish herself as being the best choice of all 127 applicants.  One-hundred-twenty days (four months) may seem like a long time, but given the long term and grievous problems at the pound, it isn't.  It's not that she has to solve these problems within 120 days, however, she will have had to convince all the stakeholders that she is on the right track and is making significant progress.

One of the commissioners has told The Report that if she isn't, she will be let go at the end of the probationary period and the commissioners will reconsider who serves as dog warden.

As promised in the title to this blog, here is a video presentation of Dog Warden Tetreault at the Animial Coalition's quarterly meeting held this past Wednesday.

No comments: