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The Madera Tribune

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Grand Jury report will set your teeth on edge

July 9, 2016

In today’s Madera Tribune you will see the annual report of the Madera County Grand Jury, and it is an eye-opener.

 

You will read about the needs and problems of the Madera County Department of Animal Services, which came to the grand jury’s attention because of specious complaints about how the animal shelter handles incoming pets, and about a so-called “kill list” that it turns out doesn’t exist.

 

What the grand jury did find is that the animal shelter is underfunded, that the employees work hard to deal with the large volume of animals that show up on their doorstep, and that the shelter probably couldn’t keep its doors open if it weren’t for the efforts of the volunteers of the Friends of the Madera Animal Shelter, who not only raise money for the shelter, but work without compensation to back up the efforts of the regular staff.

 

Among the recommendations to the Board of Supervisors: Build a new animal shelter within three years.

 

We concur.

 

By the way, the grand jury commends the shelter staff and the Friends of the Madera Animal Shelter for their dedication and efforts.

 

Another report is on the Madera County Adult Protective Services, which was investigated after a complaint that inaction on the part of that agency allowed an elderly cancer patient to be abused even unto death by an incompetent caregiver, even after a hospice worker begged the agency to step in on the elderly patient’s behalf.

 

What happened was an inexcusable bureaucratic fumble.

 

And if those reports don’t make you gnash your teeth, wait until you read about the water hogs of Madera County Special District MD-95 and Special District CSA-16 Sumner Hill.

 

These two Ranchos-area districts have been using about a million gallons a year per residence, which is two to four times as much as any other county district.

 

And if that doesn’t wet your whistle, this will: The county has no specific staff whose duty it is to enforce the county’s outdoor water use restrictions. Rather, maintenance staff is used on an overtime basis to enforce the watering restrictions.


The report also compliments three public agencies: The Central California Women’s Facility, the county’s ever-improving information technology department, and the county’s 311 system, which allows the public to have much-improved access to county services.
Read the report. It’s a good one this year, and quite courageous.

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