Accountability of funding critical for success of KHS

Aloha Kauai County Council,

Mahalo for all that you do for the betterment of Kauai.

As a former KHS employee who resigned, more over a taxpayer, I have been concerned about many poor financial decisions that are made by the board. Our county tax dollars help support humane services, a fairly large, very generous amount.

Myself and many fellow Kauaian would like to propose that at least three qualified individuals be selected and appointed to be on the board to represent the people and oversee our funds. These individuals can be selected by the people or you, the council. If this is unrealistic so be it. However we need to ask and explain as to why we are suggesting this.

We believe the problems KHS continues to have all starts at the top, the board. Many decisions made by the board in the past few years have caused extreme financial strain that has placed us where we are today … an unnecessary financial mess.

The cost? Animals not having a longer chance to find placement.

So much as been focused on their executive director when the actual cause of the problem is not being addressed, the board. The board makes decisions, whether it’s who they select to represent the organization, fundraising, business planning and growth of KHS.

I personally would like to see a five-year business plan regarding growth of KHS, because as we grow, KHS will be asking the county for more funds.

The board is not balanced, not working as a team. I know this from my employment experience and acquaintance with past board members. Many of us know this because when we tried to address the entire board as concerned staff, we were denied by one board member decision of “no.”

Other board members knew that we needed to share and for good reason but said they were dominated by that individual — this is not a board.

Several attempts in the past were made to talk to the board, not just during the current executive director.

My perspective is that the current executive director came into a financial nightmare, an unnecessary mess that was caused by board decisions re: the past under qualified executive director they selected. I only share this as an example of a poor decision that should be explained. The past executive director came from no kill, to kill, humanely putting an animal to sleep.

Why would a board think a person working in a no kill could just show up and handle humane services. This decision led to many problems, many funds were spent unnecessarily. Over that long year, the poor decision became more obvious, as a result she left and lots of funds went out getting her here and back to where she was recruited from.

When finances are mismanaged, limited, stretched to the max, it is difficult to afford the daily cost of running the shelter. The financial costs of feeding the animals, providing vet services and funds to pay staff are high. When you do not have enough money for daily costs you are limited in providing services.

The volume of intake to the population available to adopt is grossly unbalanced. This makes it very difficult to house the animals longer, feed them, care for them.

We feel if there are a few people on the board who represent the people, the future of KHS can get back on track financially. They can report to the council how funds are being used and help guide the financial plan for future needs KHS will have as the island’s population grows.

The animals deserve the best, so please allow the community this opportunity. Our goal would be to get KHS to “no kill’ as much as possible ,with the understanding that some humane services are needed, therefore, provided.

It’s time for change. We appreciate your consideration.

Donna Pickard is a resident of Kapaa.

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