The last twenty-four hours has been eventful to say the least. Letters have been written, interviews given, articles and postings left right and centre all concerning No Kill St Catharines and Lincoln County Humane Society. Rather than depriving readers of all that has transpired I am going to turn this blog into a few installments over the next couple of days.
The first order of business is to recognize the employees and volunteers at LCHS. I shall be saying much more about these people Clearly, under the present Management and Board of Directors these people are working in a toxic, emotionally crippling environment. They deserve better. Guys, please know there are people really trying, working hard to make things better.
The second group of people I would like to address are those from the media. So often the press, radio and TV are criticized for slanted and prejudicial reporting. To date with all that has been reported via the different media outlets there has been only one incident of obvious bias, but given the source, it is not really worth further comment or concern. The St Catharines Standard, The Niagara News, Bullet News, 610 FM, CHCH and all the others have been fair and factual in their reporting and I for one thank them very much for their professionalism especially in light of the emotional subject matter.
First, the article. This article is the latest St Catharines Standard article.
Where do I begin…..
“The LCHS board of directors is “tentatively” scheduled to meet Nov. 21 to review the close to 50 membership applications it has received, humane society executive director Kevin Strooband said.” So what does this mean? Once again is the Board of Directors going to secrete themselves away from the meddlesome crowd of concerned, interested, tax paying, membership seeking public? Shall they reschedule or change venue without notice or shall they hide under desks? The meeting has been scheduled and published since October 23rd. What is the problem?
“Strooband said he has forwarded all the applications to the board’s membership secretary, Ed Klassen, but wouldn’t say whether he thinks the applicants will be successful.” Okay let’s start with Membership Chairman, Ed Klassen. In the year plus that Ed has been the membership secretary, how many people has he solicited for LCHS? Oh that’s easy. Zero, zilch, zip, nada! So just who is Ed Klassen? What possible input of any importance can Ed have in determining who shall or shall not be granted membership into the inner circle? I would remind you that this is the guy whose responsibility it is to sell LCHS to the public in order to solicit new members and to maintain present members. Well, not so much. Not onky has he not brought a single applicant to the table he has been unable to manage the vast number ( 54 in 2011 down to 16 in 2011 including B of D) of members. In fact The President of the Board of Directors, Ann Davidson, and three others, Mary-Lou Davidson, Christine Probst, Michael Howe arrived at the AGM not having renewed their memberships for 2012. Yet 53 people who had made application waited for an hour and a half to be told they could not become members. Hell of a job Mr. Membership Secretary.
“There have been people who have been declined in the past,” Strooband said. WHY HAVE PEOPLE BEEN DECLINED IN THE PAST? He said members of the board will review the applications before making a decision, and may defer to him to “find out more information” about the applicants. Defer…. to ….. him, that can’t be good.
“It’s due diligence,” he said, but there are “no set conditions” for determining who is accepted and who is refused. Really? Due diligence: click right here for a definition of due diligence
Okay so Strooband is bound to perform “due diligence” but there are no set parameters with which he is supposed to accomplish the task. This begs the question , how can anyone be denied membership?
Okay, moving along
“But both Strooband and St. Andrew’s Coun. Joe Kushner — who is a lifetime humane society member and the city’s appointee to the society’s board — defended the agency’s membership-review policy, saying the organization has to protect itself from being taken over by people who would change its
direction.” What membership review policy? Your ED just said there isn’t one! And just what direction would that be? Surely to heavens, we don’t want those radicals spewing talk of transparency,good governance and strong business practices ? What! Saving lives? Are you crazy? Much better we stick with the old, closed-door, closed mind and closed heart principal and keep killing.It would appear that Joe needs to be reminded of a time when he was a bit more open-minded and liberal in his thinking towards those radicals. October 7, 1989, The St Catharines Standard, “Ald. Joe Kushner, St Catharines council’s representative for 12 years agrees that the society is there to protect the animals. Although he considers himself a part of the “old guard” he stops short of saying people with different beliefs on animal welfare should be prevented from serving on the board” We all know to serve on the board, according to the By Laws you have to be a member (unless you are Ann Davidson, Mary Lou Davikilling.
In his 35 years of being on the Board of Directors in one capacity or another Kushner has been a part of killing in excess of 70,000 animals. Think of it people, 70, 000 animals. Do you have any concept of what 70,000 looks like? Well coincidentally 70,000 is almost the combined populations of Beamsville, Thorold, Niagara on the Lake and Grimsby, the other four communities that contract Animal Control services to LCHS. Now, that’s a legacy. Why would you want to change that direction?“