Madore changes course on Humane Society contract

After seeing salary information for the organization, Madore says he supports a new agreement

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 
photoDavid Madore

Clark County Commissioner David Madore says he met with representatives of the Humane Society for Southwest Washington in the days after he declined to approve a contract for shelter services between the animal group and the county, and he now supports the agreement.

Madore said last week he wouldn’t vote in favor of a two-year contract with the Humane Society until he saw the salaries the group pays its employees. His reasoning, he said, was “to be good stewards of the public trust.”

At Tuesday’s meeting of county commissioners, Madore said he has now seen the salaries and there were “no red flags.”

“I saw all the salaries,” Madore said during a break in the meeting. “They’re all very appropriate.”

Commissioners Tom Mielke and Steve Stuart had offered a counterproposal to the Humane Society as a stopgap while Madore gathered more information. But that was never returned to the board for final approval. Now, with Madore supporting a two-year contract, which he nodded in favor of after Stuart queried him, the commissioners are likely to take up the issue again next week.

The county is legally required to house stray animals it picks up. As it does not operate its own shelter, it contracts for the service with the Humane Society. The reason for scrutiny of the contract appeared to stem from the Humane Society’s request that the county pay more to operate the shelter.

The Humane Society is asking the county to increase its pay from the current rate of $120 to house an animal, to $132.50 per animal in 2013, and to $145 per animal in 2014.

Humane Society representatives say the increase is to keep up with the cost of doing business.

Erik Hidle: 360-735-4547; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov ; erik.hidle@columbian.com.