Montcalm County Animal Control to operate with 2 officers

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:54 am on Friday, October 14, 2011

STANTON — Changes at the Montcalm County Animal Control continued to be discussed Tuesday.
Former Animal Control Director Patricia Lentz’s position was eliminated Sept. 26 as part of $1.3 million in county budget cuts.
Commissioners previously voted to hire a part-time shelter assistant to help Animal Control Officer Angie Sova.
On Tuesday, the Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee unanimously voted to change the job description to part-time animal control officer instead of shelter assistant. The yet-to-be-posted job will consist of approximately 25 hours per week at $13 per hour.
Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer said the change doesn’t affect anything commissioners discussed before, only the title.
“I think the flexibility of an animal control officer makes much more sense,” said District 6 Commissioner Ron Baker. “As long as the dollars will work in the budget, I think the consistency of two animal control officers would make that program fly.”
District 8 Commissioner Roger Caris said retaining Sova is a good thing for Animal Control, “an area that historically has had more than one or two bumps in the road.”
“I think it would give us what we’re trying to accomplish in terms of savings and better overall service to the people,” said Caris of hiring another part-time officer. “It will show that at least on one occasion we listened to the people that we’re on the ground.”
“I think sometimes in this department that we listen to people too much,” opined District 5 Commissioner Carl Paepke.
Lentz was hired as director of Animal Control in 2008. She had served in the same capacity for 18 years in Isabella County before being fired in 2007.
She succeeded Kevin Weaver, who resigned in 2008 under pressure from the Board of Commissioners over poor job performance.

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