Saturday, February 5, 2011


There is no doubt about it!

Commissioner Ferguson did say (see video posted at the end of this blog; hereinafter "TAPE") in July at the regular monthly meeting of the Stark County Dog Pound Advisory Board (SCDPAB) that he in fact saw dog abuse on a videotape taken of operations at the Stark County Dog Pound.

By the regular November 24th meeting of the commissioners, he had a "revised" memory and he had not seen what he saw in July.  Moreover, on January 20, 2011 he appeared before the SCDPAB at its regular monthly meeting and reaffirmed that he did not see what he said he saw back in July, 2010.

So, what is one to make of the turnabout?

The SCPR believes that it became "politically incorrect" (in terms with the commissioners' relationship with the Teamsters Union - which represents the dog pound workers) for Ferguson to have seen what he emphatically saw in July.

Another interesting thing is that one SCDPAB member (seen on the accompanying tape) muses about how "THE TAPE" (defined as being the tape that Ferguson was referring to at the SCDPAB July meeting) has come up missing.

The SCPR asked Stark County Dog Warden Reagan Tetreault for a copy of THE TAPE (request made by the SCPR in December, 2010) and, after being ignored for the better part of two days and only after County Administrator Mike Hanke intervened to get her to respond to The Report's telephone call, did Tetreault provide "A" tape (an October tape - not "THE TAPE").

The Report believes that THE TAPE existed at one time and that Ferguson in fact viewed it.

The only other possibility is that Ferguson totally fabricated his account of having viewed THE TAPE at the July SCDPAB meeting.

Either scenario should not be comforting to Stark Countians.

While some may think that THE TAPE incident is "much ado about nothing," it is a mistake for any citizen who cares about the accountability of government to take such a view.

At issue in this vignette on the operations of county government, is the credibility of an elected commissioner, the preservation and protection of public records, the job performance standards at a unit of county government, the responsiveness of the dog warden and whether or county taxpayers are getting what they are paying for (i.e. Ferguson "All I saw were people sitting around doing nothing").

There are signs that Tetreault is getting a handle on matters at the Stark County Dog Pound (Pound), but it still is too early to tell definitively.

Stark Countians who care about the handling of and care of dogs at the Pound should be appreciative of the Stark County Dog Pound Advisory Board.

One has to wonder whether or not the Stark County commissioners (especially Ferguson, and former commissioners Bosley, Jackson, Harmon, Meeks and Vignos) rue the day that the Advisory Board was created and staffed.

They surely have been "a pain in the _ _ _ _" to the commissioners while being "guardian angels" for those Stark County dogs who have the misfortune (at least historically) to end up at the Stark County Dog Pound.

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