I am not a dog person. Never have been. But I understand peoples connection with their pets. What I do have in common with dog owners is a concern for animal welfare. For this reason I’ve been watching with some interest the debate about the management of Napier City Council’s pound.
Recent comments by the Mayor should not go unpassed. With respect to concerns raised by Watchdog! he was quoted as saying “If they simply got positive about things then the whole place would be a lot better” and that he treated Watchdog! with “the utter contempt they deserve”
The first quote begs the question what was wrong with the way the pound had been managed in the first place. Why else say that the whole place would be a lot better? To my mind the words ‘a lot better’ imply that management of the pound is currently less than perfect. In short the Mayor has acknowledged that Watchdog! has a point.
In his second quote the Mayor shows a complete lack of empathy for the concerns raised by Watchdog! and by association, all of the members of the public who support their work in raising concerns about animal welfare. I’m sorry Mr Mayor but I think you go too far.
It is unfortunate that the Mayor has gone down this path. He is far better than this. But I get the feeling that his continued support of the CEO has put him under some pressure. It is clear that the public have become frustrated with the council and it’s CEO in recent times. The velodrome, Skatezone, a lack of swimming facilities and now the pound are just some of the issues in which the public feel they have been treated with contempt. Is it any wonder that Watchdog! called upon the CEO to resign? It may well be they will be but the first group to make this call.