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1 - 20 of 20 Comments Last updated Apr 16, 2011

“Speaking Out for Whats Right”

Since: May 10

Houston, TX

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#1
Apr 10, 2011
 
OK –I have a special place in my heart for dogs and cats so I’m a little partial on this one.

The LP City Council Retreat discussed the possible need to budget for the cost to invest in a Dog Park that would cost about $10K. I say go for it hands down. This should be an easy win.

Chief Adcox also did a smashing presentation on the need for a new animal shelter.

Currently, the Animal Shelter we have is just not good enough to even try to re-do. I do not know about you but if you have gone to our local shelter you would easily agree on this one.

Legally, we are in compliance with the law I think because our shelter has been grandfathered in and so we are exempt from some of the newer compliance requirements.

However, just because we can do something legally does not make it morally right.

For example;

When the shelter hits capacity and they need to make room for more animals they have to euthanize all the animals in the shelter to make room.

They euthanize the animals in front of the other animals because they cannot do it at another area that is out of the way of view.

Staff shares a fridge where their food is in the same location as the specimens.

Dogs that should be in a separate quarantine site are not in separate areas. The cross contamination of kennels during washing is very high which can lead to increased disease outbreak.

Proper ventilation is not very good to say the least and this poses a hazard to workers.

The cost in invest in a new up to date facility that will meet current and future needs runs at about 1.1 million. This is about ¼ the anticipated cost of safety town and you can guaranty savings lives on this project. They can establish this site close to a proposed dog park and do volunteer presentations of animals for adoptions over the weekends at the park.

Establishing the new facility can mean all the difference in saving the lives of more animals and giving them a change at finding a loving home. If building the shelter is a matter of money, I say get the local communities and businesses involved and start a benefits drive to help build this thing.

Let’s get a save La Porte’s Furry Friends organization started… get this on the budget or a bond proposal, and allow the people to vote on it! Do it now and do it quick.
Lomaxx

Houston, TX

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#2
Apr 11, 2011
 

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Surely the City has an extra 10k for the dog park but until the city coffers are full please hold up on the "new improved" MILLION DOLLAR animal shelter. We don't need to borrow money and they'll hopefully get the needed NEW shelter when LaPorte has the money.
This is a PROPOSAL, Council needs to table it until there's money for it.
SAFETYTOWN need to be tabled for a year or 2 also!

“Speaking Out for Whats Right”

Since: May 10

Houston, TX

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#3
Apr 11, 2011
 
Lomaxx wrote:
Surely the City has an extra 10k for the dog park but until the city coffers are full please hold up on the "new improved" MILLION DOLLAR animal shelter. We don't need to borrow money and they'll hopefully get the needed NEW shelter when LaPorte has the money.
This is a PROPOSAL, Council needs to table it until there's money for it.
SAFETYTOWN need to be tabled for a year or 2 also!
I don’t think you fully understand and therefore cannot appreciate the nuances of the proposal. Also, I did not explain the whole pitch made. The biggest issue right now is the fact that we need to make the bathroom and site up to code for people with disabilities. If anything is done to the site, we are no longer grandfathered in and therefore we would be out of legal compliancy with the rest of the issues at hand.

We have to do something, doing something means we have to bring everything up to current standards or we will be out of compliance on a larger scale. We will need to fix the problem. The question is are we going to band aid it and spend a good deal of money on renovations and expansions or are we going to properly plan for future use? If we band aid it now, we loose on the investment made 5 or 10 years down the road because we will run into a capacity issue.

I say bite the bullet on this one, it’s a public service for our animals. It’s a matter of saving lives and possibly enriching the lives of others. If we can get the public to support this one and get local businesses to support it, then the cost to build it would be a moot issue. It’s all in the way you can creatively make it happen.

Since: Jul 07

Houston area

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#4
Apr 11, 2011
 

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The item of a new shelter is a topic that is likely to draw some who will question it. The current facility is small, not large enough to handle the volume of animals that are being brought in. There is also the problem of disease control. The staff has to conduct all of their business (case investigations, incoming animals, release of animals, adoptions and customer service) all in a small, cramped area. The new shelter would bring the operations into current laws and standards.
Berlin

Houston, TX

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#5
Apr 11, 2011
 

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This is the slippery slope you get into with compliance to "standards". You have to review every structure, vehicle, job task, road, sewer, sign and ordinance and everything else in the city. Then EVERYTHING has to be brought up to an arbitrary standard set by strangers from out of town. It is tremendously expensive.

This habit of assuming that other people know better is bad for the community. In addition, once you commit to this blind obedience, you can't stop. All I have to do is go before council and say “we need a new “low income housing project because it is the standard of other cities to have one”. Of course “the code” requires that it have a $5 million parking garage, a pool and a gymnasium.

I agree, the animals need to be treated humanely. But let's decide for ourselves what is necessary and appropriate.$1 Million seems really high, unless you add in half a million for consultants to ensure we are “up to code”.

“Speaking Out for Whats Right”

Since: May 10

Houston, TX

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#6
Apr 11, 2011
 
Berlin wrote:
This is the slippery slope you get into with compliance to "standards". You have to review every structure, vehicle, job task, road, sewer, sign and ordinance and everything else in the city. Then EVERYTHING has to be brought up to an arbitrary standard set by strangers from out of town. It is tremendously expensive.
This habit of assuming that other people know better is bad for the community. In addition, once you commit to this blind obedience, you can't stop. All I have to do is go before council and say “we need a new “low income housing project because it is the standard of other cities to have one”. Of course “the code” requires that it have a $5 million parking garage, a pool and a gymnasium.
I agree, the animals need to be treated humanely. But let's decide for ourselves what is necessary and appropriate.$1 Million seems really high, unless you add in half a million for consultants to ensure we are “up to code”.
Your argument is that considering the shelter on the premise of compliancy is a slippery slope. You support this argument on the basis that any Joe blow will come in and say we need to upgrade this or that based on arbitrary standards.

I think council has the ability to see past B.S. and make appropriate and necessary decisions based on facts.

Your second argument is that we are assuming that other people know better is bad for the community. However, there is no basis for this statement. No one claimed to know better, residents are not blind sheep. We have a very good number of smart and well educated people in this city.

Your supporting argument that all you have to do is go before city council and say we need a new low income housing project because we are out of compliance I believe is called Rhetoric. It has no viable supporting foundation.

I agree that we do need to decide for ourselves. 1 Million Dollars is a big number but it is also a number that appears to cover the basic needs of a facility for immediate and future plan use. When you break it down, we are talking about a 7,000 foot facility that costs $158 per square foot. Tell me, is $158 a square foot a lot to ask for a well built public facility that will prove to last at least 20 – 30 years?
Absolutely Beautiful

Austin, TX

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#7
Apr 11, 2011
 
I would really like to see the City invest in a proper animal care shelter.

The City has a certain amount of discretionary income; they should spend a portion of it on this animal care facility.

If you know any council members please ask them to support this proposal!

Thank you.
Absolutely Beautiful

Austin, TX

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#8
Apr 11, 2011
 
Berlin wrote:
This habit of assuming that other people know better is bad for the community. In addition, once you commit to this blind obedience, you can't stop. All I have to do is go before council and say “we need a new “low income housing project because it is the standard of other cities to have one”. Of course “the code” requires that it have a $5 million parking garage, a pool and a gymnasium.
Berlin, I do not mean to get in a back-and-forth, but I really do not think investing a one-time improvement in our community animal shelter will send us down a slippery slop ending in "low-income housing projects".

I do appreciate your sentiments that La Porte should remain independent when it comes to what additions need to be made in town (really, I do, we need more of it), and I honestly think this is an issue the majority of citizens would stand behind and support.

So Berlin, please consider supporting this improvement project. I can gather based upon your comments you may be someone highly involved and influential (and if not, you should be!). Please support this project online and in person at City Hall.

Thank you.
Lomaxx

Houston, TX

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#9
Apr 11, 2011
 

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LP Watchdog and RangerDoc:
I have always admired your opinions in Topix and LaPorte does need these things but the 'TAX AND SPEND' mentality has to go away. It was said LaPorte had a 6 MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS last year. Why didn't you go after these needed improvements before that EXTRA money was gone? We're on our knees this year(and next year?), can't you hold off until we again have the funds? I also hate patching up junk but that's what you with your truck when you can't afford a new one.(been there, done that! LOL!)
I would suggest getting with Council NOW and be 1st on the list when the funds are available.

“Speaking Out for Whats Right”

Since: May 10

Houston, TX

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#10
Apr 11, 2011
 
Lomaxx wrote:
LP Watchdog and RangerDoc:
I have always admired your opinions in Topix and LaPorte does need these things but the 'TAX AND SPEND' mentality has to go away. It was said LaPorte had a 6 MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS last year. Why didn't you go after these needed improvements before that EXTRA money was gone? We're on our knees this year(and next year?), can't you hold off until we again have the funds? I also hate patching up junk but that's what you with your truck when you can't afford a new one.(been there, done that! LOL!)
I would suggest getting with Council NOW and be 1st on the list when the funds are available.
I agree about the tax and spend mentality. I believe it is the reason we now have little surplus today. I can tell you that I among many others stood up in the last year at City Hall to speak against some of the proposals to spend. Is the animal shelter something we should do now with the budget the way it is? Probably not, I can say that I beleive it is one of the better proposals. I do think we can find other ways of generating revenue for the shelter project. Perhaps we should go that route, which is what I have essentially voiced. ;-)

“Activist, Comedian, Con Man!”

Since: Jan 09

www.HeavyFed.com

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#11
Apr 11, 2011
 

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This is one of those projects that we actually need.

One million spent here would be a much better investment than the four million spent on Five Points... and a new pound would get a LOT more use.

The Baytown Animal Shelter is very nice and well maintained... there is no comparison when you set it next to our existing facility.

What we have now is a pain for our animal control officers... and for the animals as well.
Berlin

Houston, TX

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#12
Apr 11, 2011
 
LP Watchdog wrote:
<quoted text>
Your argument is that considering the shelter on the premise of compliancy is a slippery slope. You support this argument on the basis that any Joe blow will come in and say we need to upgrade this or that based on arbitrary standards.
I think council has the ability to see past B.S. and make appropriate and necessary decisions based on facts.
Your second argument is that we are assuming that other people know better is bad for the community. However, there is no basis for this statement. No one claimed to know better, residents are not blind sheep. We have a very good number of smart and well educated people in this city.
Your supporting argument that all you have to do is go before city council and say we need a new low income housing project because we are out of compliance I believe is called Rhetoric. It has no viable supporting foundation.
I agree that we do need to decide for ourselves. 1 Million Dollars is a big number but it is also a number that appears to cover the basic needs of a facility for immediate and future plan use. When you break it down, we are talking about a 7,000 foot facility that costs $158 per square foot. Tell me, is $158 a square foot a lot to ask for a well built public facility that will prove to last at least 20 – 30 years?
Easy LP; I’m on your side. My response was not intended to denigrate our elected leaders. Nor is it to say that La Porte voters are stupid. I will, however, say that many of them are uninformed of the options on each project and owe a duty to the voters to look for all possible solutions.

You can tell I hold a low opinion of expensive projects undertaken to “keep up with the Joneses” or adopting new policies simply because a policy has been proposed. Each proposal should also be considered on the basis of necessity. That is,“can we really live without this and still be civilized?"

In addition, I agree that we should always care for the animals in our shelter with the best care possible. That extends to animals in our back yards too. Domesticated animals depend on us for food, shelter and protection. Unfortunately, not all humans live up to our obligations.

Should we have a new animal shelter? Likely so, but what other issues should we be considering? Does the county have resources for us to use? Are there other municipalities who will jointly operate an animal shelter with us?
Can we fund adoption programs? Spay and neutering programs? What other ways can we solve the problem of homeless animals? If these have not been explored, then the decision-makers haven’t finished the job.

Again, it is the duty of the city leaders to be creative and effective in the way they run our city. That means understanding the problem from a La Porte point of view, not just a cookie cutter approach taken from another city.

“Speaking Out for Whats Right”

Since: May 10

Houston, TX

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#13
Apr 11, 2011
 
Berlin wrote:
<quoted text>
it is the duty of the city leaders to be creative and effective in the way they run our city. That means understanding the problem from a La Porte point of view, not just a cookie cutter approach taken from another city.
I vehemently agree!
LProud

Pasadena, TX

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#14
Apr 11, 2011
 
I support both the dog park and the shelter. I cannot believe the chief has not asked for a new shelter long, long ago by the disgusting looks of things. My problem is: why do we need one bigger than the city of Friendswoods? As always, we seem to go a bit overboard here (except when it came to putting in restrooms at 5 points)! Glad the council asked for a cheaper version, hope the chief comes up with a new nice proposal and we get started on this ASAP. And hats off to the city workers who work there under those conditions!!!
CAMPBELL

AOL

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#15
Apr 11, 2011
 
This is money that would be usefull than wasted like 5-points
concerned citizen

La Porte, TX

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#16
Apr 15, 2011
 

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This could easily be paid for with an income tax directed at local businesses. They need to start coughing up some money instead of us citizens having to pay income and sales tax.

Since: Mar 11

Houston, TX

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#17
Apr 15, 2011
 

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concerned citizen wrote:
This could easily be paid for with an income tax directed at local businesses. They need to start coughing up some money instead of us citizens having to pay income and sales tax.
Right! Tax the rich! They are just sucking blood off the backs of the downtrodden workers! They never lifted a finger to get their millions. They just sit in their mansions and yaghts counting their money and snapping orders at their servants. And here we are begging for scraps of food, living in boxes, under bridges, in dark lonely alleys, with the vagrants of society. Those damned rich people!

Since: Jan 10

La Porte, TX

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#18
Apr 15, 2011
 
I think it is commical that when I first proposed building a dog park at the property we own at Klien Retreat and Happy Harbor I was laughed at and now it is a great idea.

Recheck your cost figure because you can't hardly build the fence for $10,000.

“Activist, Comedian, Con Man!”

Since: Jan 09

www.HeavyFed.com

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#19
Apr 15, 2011
 

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hootster wrote:
I think it is commical that when I first proposed building a dog park at the property we own at Klien Retreat and Happy Harbor I was laughed at and now it is a great idea.
They'll be only too happy to build it and put their name all over it like it was their idea, Hoot.
Give us a break

Pasadena, TX

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#20
Apr 16, 2011
 
LP Watchdog wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree about the tax and spend mentality. I believe it is the reason we now have little surplus today. I can tell you that I among many others stood up in the last year at City Hall to speak against some of the proposals to spend. Is the animal shelter something we should do now with the budget the way it is? Probably not, I can say that I beleive it is one of the better proposals. I do think we can find other ways of generating revenue for the shelter project. Perhaps we should go that route, which is what I have essentially voiced. ;-)
THE City wasted $1 million on The GATEWAY.
The City wasted $1.5 million on the non existent restaurant rehab and parking space near the Gateway.
The City wasted $3.2 million on the 5 Points Park.
The City wants to build a new fire station when these are adequate.
The City wants to build Safetytown!

Yes, of course the animal shelter is deplorable.$1 million is a reasonable amount to expend. Lets cut back on the waste and budget for this need.

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