Officials of the Humane Educational Society say County Commissioner Chip Baker is trying to derail a planned $10 million county appropriation to the HES for a new shelter.
On the eve of a schedule vote by the County Commission, HES sent out an email titled "Don't Let Commissioner Baker Delay The Vote!"
Commissioner Baker is among some members on the commission interested in exploring the idea of the HES cooperating with the city's McKamey Animal Center, which has a fairly new shelter.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger is recommending the allocation to the HES, which earlier bought land off South Access Road for a shelter. It is now in dilapidated quarters on N. Highland Park Avenue. It serves the unincorporated county with the governments paying a per capita rate.
County Mayor Coppinger said the county is required by law to contract for animal services, and he said differing city and county state laws make it difficult to merge McKamey and HES.
The HES email says, "Despite visiting the Humane Educational Society's current facility and witnessing first hand the desperate need for a newer healthier facility for the animals, staff and volunteers; it appears Commissioner Baker intends to attempt to delay the vote for HES's new building. Simply put Commissioner Baker is putting politics above the needs of homeless animals in Hamilton County and above the needs of HES staff and volunteers who give of themselves daily to make a difference for the animals. Please take a moment to write, call or email Commissioner Baker and request that he put the needs of homeless animals before his political agenda and let him know that you support a new facility for HES."
It then lists the email address for Commissioner Baker.