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Monday, October 18, 2010

Janesville's Cash Cow Not For Everybody

During a Janesville city council budget session last week, it was announced that the Rock County Humane Society asked for $173,000 more than last year for operations for a total of $290,000 from city of Janesville taxpayer coffers.

Soon afterwards came a high level of dissonance, sharp criticisms, straw man arguments and accusations of extortion against the not-for-profit public service animal shelter from the council members.

The following is a sample of some of their comments.
Council member Russ Steeber:
"They've got us in a predicament,... the Humane Society is doing us a disservice. This is a humongous increase, they could have spread this out over several us stuck between a rock and a hard spot," he said. "It really is unthinkable that they would do this to us. They know that we need their services, but they've got us by the short hairs and taking us for a ride." It's almost criminal... They are forcing the fact that they have the only ball game in town, and if you don't play with their rule - you're stuck.

The citizens of Janesville will suffer because of their lack of management and control of their costs...They're still using it as a tool to extort us from money, like I said they're the only game in kind'a sucks."
Council member Tom McDonald:
Who actually disagreed with most of Steeber's comments but..."if we find out they're making a profit off of this, then I'll come a little closer to your camp of criminality and extortion."
Council member George Brunner:
"I really think the Humane Society has lost focus, they found cash cows" in the cities of Beloit and Janesville. I'm really starting to question whether or not the Rock Humane Society is a not-for-profit operation because of the idea of having cash cows out there." ...I'm just a afraid with the humane society asking for this huge increase, that the trend will continue and where does it end?"

Council member Bill Truman:
"I agree this is getting out of line. It's getting close to criminal."

Council member Yuri Rashkin:
"I think this is a public relations disaster on their part no matter whether the building is falling apart around them, it's not creating any good will whatsoever.""One question ... Is the Rock County Humane Society in this situation trying to take advantage of their unique position or are they trying to cover the costs that have increased?"

Council member Frank Perrotto:
"We're all outraged!"
Oh, the outrage!!

Yet, where was the outrage when W.W. Grainger, a Fortune 500 company with shareholders and $460 million in cash on hand, asked for a 1000% increase in the form of a $227,000 hand-out from modest Janesville tax payers to pay for "restructuring?"

Well, that's different huh? That's one of them thar' good-steward-public-private-community-partnerships-TIF-district-forgivable-loan-slush-fund-hand-out-whatcha-ma-callits. THAT'S what that was.

The Rock County Humane Society doesn't qualify for any of that - they're one of those not-for-profit do-gooder outfits with plenty of volunteer help. They practically operate in a socialist vacuum, so how could costs and needs ever go up - right?

1 comment:

Richard L. Costerisan said...

In this day and age, who would be so foolish as to say anything negative or fail to show support for helping suffering animals? Not only is this a total disregard for the welfare of animals, but public safety as well. The corner the council has backed themselves into now is: Ante up for the Humane Society or forget about any ice arena. Here is a perfect example of government leaders who are out of touch with the values of those they represent.

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