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April 27, 2010


Melissa Bollbach

Sad to see that my councilwoman Kathy Graziano didn't vote the way I and so many other constituents asked her to. She helps our dogs by being a great champion for our parks, but the Hills & Heights neighborhoods would benefit greatly from an empowered RAC&C. I'll write her a letter asking her to reconsider by the time the next vote comes around.

After all these years of discord between city administrators and City Council, this is the issue where Council decides to blindly support the administration? Sad.

Mike LaBelle

This is an email from Councilman Samuels in
response to an email I sent all member s of city council on the issue of the RAC&C.


Thanks for writing. I know how important this issue is to people. There seems to be confusion regarding what Council how council voted.

The option presented to council was keep RACC in General Services OR make it an independent department. Moving it to the police was not an option.

Unfortunately, had we voted against the amended ordinance, RACC would not have gone to the Police but would remain in General Services - a department which would have only had one agency - RACC.

I felt that receiving appropriate funding & staffing under the direct supervision of a DCAO while this matter is carefully considered was better than having it remain in a defunct department.

Virginia Beach and other localities have ACC in Public Works and while I do not believe it should be placed there, I do not want it to remain in the Department of General services either.

Since putting it in the Police was not an option presented in any ordinance on which we voted, it was impossible for us to place it there.

Thanks again for writing me.


Charles R. Samuels
804-646-6532 (office)
804-690-0898 (cell)

From: Mike LaBelle
To: Hilbert, Chris A. - Council Member; Graziano, Kathy C. - Council Member; Robertson, Ellen F. - Council Member; Tyler, Bruce W. - Council Member; Samuels, Charles R. - Council Member; Jewell, E. Martin . - Council Member; Newbille, Cynthia I. - Council Member; Trammell, Reva M. - Council Member; Conner, Douglas G. - Council Member
Sent: Sun May 02 09:34:04 2010
Subject: Richmond Animal Control
Dear Council Members,

I was extremely upset to learn that city council has voted to defer a decision on the control of Richmond Animal Care & Control For six months, while the city studies the issue?? AGAIN….

The only council members that did not vote for this decision were Bruce Tyler, Reva Trammel and Doug Connor.

You have looked at national and statewide studies, reading and hearing the recommendations of national and local leaders in animal welfare, examining the placement of other local animal control agencies in County governments, conducting polls among their own constituents, and receiving hundreds of emails and phone calls from residents in their districts.

The overwhelming evidence CLEARLY shows that the proper place for Animal Control is under the control and guidance of the Richmond Police Department.

But yet after all this and knowing that the right thing to do was to put the RCA&C under the purview of the RPD, the council for some strange reason has deferred judgment so that the city may spend more of our tax dollars to study the issue more thoroughly, what are you thinking?? Have you not learned that after having spent three months researching the issue and hearing from experts from far and wide that what you have done makes no sense, does nothing for the welfare of the animals in the city, wastes the taxpayer dollars and allows a division of the city-(DPW) who has no experience whatsoever in managing animal welfare to be given control of this operation.

Not a single person spoke in favor of either of the City Administration’s proposed reassignment options, this during the last council meeting where this issue was brought up April 26, 2010.

Your job is to represent the residents of the city, not to bow to the whim of the mayor or his executive staff. The residents, experts and studies as well as surrounding localities have all presented to you what the right thing to do was and you have chosen to ignore their advice and ignore the consensus view.

Please put the results of the many studies, the recommendations of local and national experts, the opinions of residents and the desires of all for proper re-assignment of RAC&C to the RPD, all evidence and opinion points to this being the correct path to follow.

Mike LaBelle
Bellevue Resident

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