This post was added to the BoardWatch blog this afternoon and, though nothing is for sure until Jeff says it’s so, this does sound good and it sounds hopeful. How sweet it is!
Board of Animal Services Commissioners moves to amend L.A. Code to free Stu!
The Board convened at about 10:30 (a half-hour late) and immediately began discussion of Item 3A regarding Stu. Although newly installed Interim General Manager, Kathy Davis was present for her first meeting ever, but she did not even get an introduction. I can’t say I’ve ever even seen her before but she sat next to the City Attorney in the GM’s spot…and was entirely silent.
The Board took Public Comment from a large group of concerned citizens, some who traveled from as far as southern Orange County to support Stu. The Board requested that no action to “euthanize” Stu be taken at this time. At 11:05 the Board withdrew to closed session to consult with Assistant City Attorney Laurie Rittenberg, the supervising attorney on Stu’s court cases.
Although the Board estimated that they would return to open session at 11:45 , they did not return until past 12:30 p.m at which time, Commissioner Riordan introduced a motion that the Board make a recommendations to Council to amend the Los Angeles Municipal Code section covering “dangerous” dogs which would allow the Board to modify a “dangerous” designation made by a general manager, even long after the appeal process has been finalized. Commissioner Riordan stressed that the amendment be retroactive to cover Stu’s case. Commissioner Ponce seconded the motion and it was passed 4-0 (Commissioner Secunda had left the meeting by this time and did not take part in the vote).
What this means is that , at a subsequent public meeting (presumably on July 27, 2009), the Board will actually make a recommendation to City Counicl to amend the code in order to give the Board the power to reverse a GM’s decision AFTER the appeal had been finalized. I take this to mean that the Board, once empowered by the code change, intends to remove the “dangerous” designation from Stu which would allow the Board to send him home under reasonable terms and conditions for his care and control.
I do not know how long this will take, but apparently the Board intends to ask the Coucil for an expedited consideration of their request for the code change.
I’m a little frazzled by the whole thing beause it doesn’t seem real. I’m encouraged, but I will believe it when I see it. This could take months or weeks or the Council could refuse to the amend the code.
NOTE: The Board will hold their annual elections for President and Vice President on July 27. Last time the “election” was more of a mayoral “appointment” of Tariq Khero as interim President following the resignation last fall of Glenn Brown. Who’s up?