Letters to the Editor

Walker for school board

The community already has voted for David Larson’s replacement on the Federal Way School Board — it’s Ron Walker.

He’s highly qualified as clearly demonstrated in the debates and all of the other events leading up to the election, where he garnered about 40 percent of the vote.

While I clearly understand to need to follow the protocol, it’s a no-brainer. Select Ron Walker and get on with the business of finding a replacement for Tom Madden, which may be much more of a challenge. This one is easy; follow the community’s lead for someone who already is positioned to lead.

Bob McKenzie,

Federal Way

Animal care and politics

As the former director of the county department that oversees King County Animal Care and Control, columnist Bob Roegner is unfortunately showing the same level of denial as the current administrators of that department (“Animal care politics bite the county’s hand,” April 23).

I participated in the citizens’ advisory committee that reported “deplorable” conditions in the shelters, and made 47 recommendations for improvement. That report has since been followed by two damning consultant reports, from one consultant hired by the council and another hired by the executive department. Both found that animals were left to suffer without basic care such as food, water, medical care and, in some cases, even a safe place to sleep without being attacked by other shelter animals.

This isn’t about politics. It isn’t even about funding for a new shelter building, although one is desperately needed. It is about leadership within the executive branch, its inability to deliver even the most fundamental services in a competent way, and the fact that it is held hostage by the animal control officers’ labor union.

If the King County Council had not drawn attention to the issue last year, we would never know how bad the conditions in the county shelters are. Now that we know, and there is no excuse for the county to tolerate those conditions for one moment longer.

Kim Sgro,

Woodinville

‘No kill’ philosophy

In his April 23 column on King County’s animal shelters, Bob Roegner does both the King County Council and the people of King County a disservice.

As a member of the King County Animal Care and Control Citizens’ Advisory Committee, I learned first-hand about the deplorable conditions in the county-run shelters — conditions that existed, by the way, when Roegner was in charge of overseeing the shelters as the county’s Director of Records, Elections and Licensing until 2003.

The King County Council has fought for nearly a year to bring this issue to the front page, even as the county executive has fought equally hard to bury the problems and conduct business as usual. No budgetary problems can possibly justify the fact that the county’s shelters fail to reliably provide even the most basic levels of humane care, such as food, water and medical attention.

But what is most needed in the county’s shelters is not an influx in money, but a change in culture and attitude — an attitude that Roegner seems to exemplify as a member of the old guard. Over and over again, compassionate people in communities across the nation have rejected the contention that good pets must die because they are “too big, too small, too old, or just no longer ‘cute.’”

Would Mr. Roegner really have us believe that the people of King County are less compassionate than those around the country who are making the “no kill” philosophy work?

Claire Davis,

Vashon

Note: Davis is president of Coalition for a No Kill King County.

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