Lisa Helget Guest Column: An open letter to the Board of Supervisors

You will meet on June 18 to determine if you will provide an additional $600,000 to construct a new animal services facility.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors approved a plan of expenditure and imposed a 1/8-cent sales tax increase to finance the $4 million bond to construct a new animal services facility. The Board embraced CASI’s design of a new facility despite unanswered questions from the community. However, only now, is the design’s cost being questioned by the board.

I encourage the board to review the Sept. 4, 2014, Board of Supervisors meeting (available on YouTube) and listen closely to Mr. Kevin Ryan’s statement’s regarding the NHS’s resources to “dedicate” to Carson City including, “our resources are large,” “Nevada Humane Society spends a lot of money,” “we won’t fail and will spend what’s necessary,” “we’re not fee driven,” “we spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars” (while referencing its “robust” veterinary services at their Reno clinic), “sacred responsibility” of finding it “unacceptable to ever put anybody at risk” and its “moral obligation” to “provide resources.”

Without regard for political correctness, I urge the board to invite Mr. Ryan to honor his statements and have NHS provide some of the “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars” for he publicly and adamantly volunteered to address the shortfalls in the new animal facility and specifically for the facility’s nonessential services — which include the surgical clinic and substantial office and conference spaces. In other words, have the NHS “put up or shut up.”

Carson City currently contracts with local veterinarians to provide animal services and should continue doing so. The NHS could seek partnering with any or all veterinarians for additional or special programs, which would provide the opportunity to not only serve the community but potentially grow their business. This benefits everyone; the animals, the owners, the vets, and the community.

Since the NHS has relieved itself from providing any animal control or enforcement responsibilities — contrary to the contract City Manager Nick Marano refuses to enforce — by dumping that responsibility, but not the compensation received, onto the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, it now has even more money to “invest” in Carson City’s homeless and needy animal population.

Lisa Helget is a Carson City resident and a former candidate for the Board of Supervisors.


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