A heated debate between supporters of Friends of the Lincoln County Animal Shelter (FOLCAS) and proponents of the Sheriff’s Office controlling the county animal shelter filled the Hennings Auditorium at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Wednesday night. There are two more public hearings on the issue coming up later in the month.
Those supporting the Sheriff’s Office retaining control claimed the office would maintain transparency and accountability in providing animal care and adoption services and that such an important public services is best left in the public sector, rather than being given to an “untested” non-profit like FOLCAS. But FOLCAS supporters say non-profits handle animal shelters nationwide very well and at far lower cost to the taxpayer than those run by the government.
FOLCAS supporters also claim that salary levels of workers at the shelter would not change over the next ten years under their management. However, benefits would be lower. However, county officials have strongly hinted that current levels of benefits for county benefits will need to be lower in the future because the level of benefits are becoming so burdensome that someday they’ll equal a person’s salary.
Under the plan, FOLCAS would use fundraisers, foundation grants and other donations to supplement a residual tax levy that they contend could be lowered from the current five cent property tax levy, thereby saving the taxpayers of Lincoln County some of the burden of supporting the shelter.
Another public meeting on the issue is coming up next Wednesday night at Lincoln City City Hall at 7pm. Then again on the 28th, 1:30pm at the courthouse in Newport.