It is my opinion that the Licking County Commissioner’s minutes typically are not informative to the public. In fact, I believe their clerk/administrative assistant purposely leaves details out…especially, if it’s something the commissioners would rather you don’t know about!
For example, the minutes from September 25, 2014, state that “Auditor Mike Smith presented the Board of Commissioners office with the first annual United Way most desirable basket trophy for receiving the most ticket sales on their Downtown Food Truck themed fundraising entry.” Yes, of course, they want you to know about that. That makes them look good. However, just below that nice, long sentence is this short one in what appears to be smaller fonts: “Mr. Smith discussed fiscal responsibility in absence of a camera viewing the payment counter at the Animal Shelter.” Isn’t that funny? They don’t even call him “Auditor” when he is discussing FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY! And they certainly aren’t going to give you details of what is going on down there. So, I will share with you what I BELIEVE is going on down there!
On June 30th, the surveillance cameras were turned off at the pound at the request of Dog Warden John Silva and this action was ALLOWED by the Commissioners! These cameras were originally installed as internal controls probably back in the late 90’s. The camera footage is recorded on a DVR which holds about thirty days worth of video. I requested to view the footage from the cameras (which is PUBLIC RECORD) because of a couple of concerns. One: I realized that former dog warden Jon Luzio was back at the pound as a volunteer and I feared that he was assessing dogs to be euthanized. It is no secret that I strongly objected to his methods when he was dog warden and I don’t think he should be back at the pound as a volunteer. A video that I posted to Youtube.com five years ago shows Luzio’s disrespect for animals (go to Youtube.com and search for Licking County Dog Pound but, I warn you, it is heartbreaking). Two: was an email that John Silva sent me at 3pm one day when he was supposed to be working. He boasted that he responded to my email while out of the office (and his email signature stated it was sent from his Ipad)on a weekday. Silva is supposed to be working 8am – 4pm Monday through Friday. I was curious if he is really working all those hours he claims.
It has taken SIX MONTHS for me to be able to view the footage from the cameras but I am SLOWLY able to view them. What I see on the footage is, for the most part, not surprising to me. Most of the cameras have been moved/readjusted. Previously, cameras that once viewed exits and entrances to the pound now look down into bushes or down on the ground. Cameras that viewed the front of the dog kennels now look down the back of the kennels. But one camera in particular looked down to the end of the hallway and showed several doors in that hall. Some doors are open to where the public is allowed; some are not. This camera gets moved and the two employees moving it are caught on tape!