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Letters to the editor, Wednesday (7-2-14)

Now that the performance of our Rowan County Animal Control department is a topic of public discussion, I have noticed that there is no easy way to determine how many animals are picked up, how many are turned in by owners, how many are adopted and how many are euthanized. Wouldn’t it be useful for the public to know, at least on a weekly basis, how many animals are handled by the department and what they are (cats, dogs, etc.)?
It would be most helpful if this kind of information were made available on a timely basis on the Animal Control department web page. Many of us who don’t spend much time at the shelter would then have a better understanding of what is happening there, and this kind of information might show where to place our priorities for funding and improvement. Surely the department keeps this kind of data; if it is available it’s not easy to find.
In this era of open government, this kind of information should be easy to provide and crucial to decision-making. So … how about sharing it with the rest of us?
— Bill Bucher Jr.
Salisbury

Has the answer, “I was surprised” or “I didn’t know” become the standard response for elected officials, both locally and on the national level, when they will not accept accountability for problems that occur on their watch? It is the opinion of this citizen that the recent “I did not know” or “I was surprised” comments by members of the Salisbury City Council reflect on their inability to delegate responsibility without accountability. How can the Salisbury City Council possibly believe that anyone can accept the facts surrounding the dismissal, separation, resignation or whatever you choose to call the personnel actions involving Mr. Paris and Ms. Hasselmann?
Why would a City Council accept the terms in Mr. Paris’ contract which gave him a separation package that included a three-year “no cut or guaranteed” one-year salary? Then to add insult to injury, the council had “no knowledge” of the details of the separation package for Ms. Hasselman, who “resigned” (resignation normally means no separation package). I find it interesting that the person who negotiated the separation package for Ms. Hasselman and also signed the documents for her outrageous salary increases is the chief financial officer and now the acting city manager. When will the City Council step forward and accept responsibility for this mess and establish the necessary checks and balances required when responsibility is delegated?
I hope this breakdown of management responsibility shakes you to your very core. You have failed to fulfill your duties to ensure that all actions taken by the city government are in the best interest of the citizens — the ones who have to pay for your lack of action and accountability.
— J.R. Dunkley
Salisbury

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