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Related Categories: California | Animal Liberation
Mayor Villaraigosa's appointed Manager Ed Boks on the outs
by Help Animals
Monday Oct 6th, 2008 3:56 PM
The Los Angeles City Personnel Committee has called a special meeting to discuss firing General Manager of Animal Services Ed Boks. The meeting will take place Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the Van Nuys Civic Center located at 14410 Sylvan St., Van Nuys, CA 91401. Council members Dennis Zine, Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks will be presiding. City file number 08-2377.
On September 9, 2008 the employees showed up at the City Council meeting to share their problems with Ed Boks with Council members. Euthanasia has increased 37%, the number of animals dying from illness and injury has increased 300% and animal bites to employees have increased. They blamed these problems on Boks' forced overcrowding and warehousing of animals in order to try to improve his numbers. Employees stated that the conditions were inhumane.

Council member Dennis Zine stated "I've had my issues with Boks' management activities and the shelters that were ill-equipped to maintain custody of the animals. I believe these employees' concerns have legitimacy." Council member Zine made a motion for the special meeting seconded by Council President Eric Garcetti and Council member Bill Rosendahl. A video of that meeting is located on You Tube here

Boks in response sent a letter to the Councilmembers stating again that these problems are all caused by the employees, not him. He again stated that they are just lazy, their "concerns have no merit" and are "unfair." He does at least admit to some mistakes. Then he states that all is well with the department incorrectly claiming that "LA is the number one pet adoption agency in the world." LA is not even the biggest in Southern California let alone the world. A copy of his letter can be found in the link below along with a rescuer's rebuttal to his letter.

We ask that all employees, rescuers, activists, animal lovers, members of the public please attend the meeting to express your issues with Ed Boks. This is one time when we all must come together for the good of the animals.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Animal Lover
Tuesday Oct 7th, 2008 8:58 AM
There will be a candlelight vigil after the meeting to remember all the animals killed in the shelter. If you have photos of animals killed in the shelter, please bring them so we may honor them.
by Honest Is Best
Tuesday Oct 7th, 2008 12:15 PM
September 9, 2008

Honorable Council Members,

The LA Times is reporting today that a number of employees, led by a small group of long-term middle managers, will ask your help to persuade the Mayor to have me and one of my assistant general managers, Linda Barth, terminated. They will present a number of accusations as reasons for their lack of confidence in me as GM. I would appreciate the opportunity to address these accusations at the appropriate time. I feel that they are unfair and for the most part, without merit.

At LA Animal Services we are attempting to institute a culture of excellence and
accountability. Many of these managers find it uncomfortable that they are being held accountable for performance for the first time in many years.

If these employees were interested in finding real solutions to legitimate problems then they should bring their grievances to me directly. My assistant general managers and I have an open door policy. We are always ready to listen to constructive criticism and work with our staff to improve operations. To date, none of the managers or employees in question has brought any of the concerns that you will hear today directly to me. Instead they have chosen to do an end run to City Council.

I am fully prepared to respond to each and every accusation if necessary. I ask only that I be permitted to do so before the Personnel Committee, which is a more appropriate forum for this matter.

We have made great strides at LA Animal Services. We have also, admittedly, made some mistakes along the way. I assure you that my management team and I are working very hard every single day to make LA Animal Services the best animal services department in the country.

Over the past two years we have: become the number one pet adoption agency in the world, with over 25,000 adoptions annually; increased spay/neuter surgeries 53% from 26,000 annually to over 40,000; opened six new animal care centers, overcoming significant systemic design flaws; increased operational workload by 400% at the same time the Department's budget was reduced 15%; rebuilt the Medical Program, fully staffing the veterinarians, with a new Chief Veterinarian starting next Monday; undergone the process to contract out our new spay/neuter clinics, with service in South LA already and Harbor and West LA to follow in the next few weeks and the remainder following; expanded partnerships with local rescue organizations from 50 to 140; developed a cost-recovery model for updating adoption and permit fees that have gone largely unchanged since the 1960s; recently completed an 8 month study of dog licensing that finally promises to provide long-term structural changes to improve the program; and we are partnering with ten of your offices and the Mayor's office to hold a series of public workshops to address animal control concerns in your respective districts.

And although the list goes on and on, we still have a long way to go. My door remains open to each of you and to all of our employees. It is my purpose to work together to find constructive solutions to making our department better.

Thank you for reserving judgment on these matters and allowing me to respond at the appropriate time and place.


Edward A. Boks
by Honest Is Best
Tuesday Oct 7th, 2008 12:19 PM
After sending that email to city council saying that the employees are wrong, unfair and don't want to work, Boks sends an email to employees saying "we're doing a great job together!" I sense mental illness here. He stated in his previous letter than only a few employees disliked him yet most employees signed the no-confidence letter. He said that his door is open but no one has ever told him there was a problem. Actually employees did speak to him about problems then he retaliated against them. How does this guy get away with this?

From: Ed Boks
Subject: State of the Department - Please share with all employees
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2008 09:01:43 -0700

As you know, Tuesday evening Council Member Zine is chairing a public
hearing of the City Council Personnel Committee and on the agenda Mr.
Zine is providing an opportunity to hear from employees, volunteers and
members of the public on their concerns with the Department and with me
personally. I want all employees to feel free to attend this meeting to
speak their mind openly and honestly.

On the following Thursday morning, (Oct. 9th) I and my AGMs will be
meeting with the Mayor's Office and Union officials to discuss an action
plan for addressing your concerns. It is important to me that we
identify problems, confirm facts, and resolve whatever differences may
exist among us - and that we continue to work as a team.

I want to thank those of you who have taken advantage of discussing and
forwarding your ideas and suggestions for making LA Animal Service a
better, more responsive organization.

I also want to encourage those of y ou who have been reluctant to share
your thoughts and ideas, to please do so. We are a team and we can only
be more successful with your input and participation in the process.

I continue to have an open door policy and have made it even easier
several weeks ago with a feature on the Intranet where you can contact
me directly and anonymously if doing so in that manner will permit you
to speak more freely and make you feel more comfortable in the process.

As a team we have made LA Animal Services the number one municipal pet
adoption agency in the world. Each of your efforts to help promote our
adoption program is greatly appreciated.

As a team we are now responsible for enforcing a historic spay/neuter
ordinance designed to help reduce our shelter over crowding, especially
with respect to neonates.

As a team we have moved into our new and remodeled Animal Care Centers.
We have identified the issues that came from moving into new facilities
and we have worked together to overcome many of them and we will
continue to collaborate together to make these Centers the most
welcoming, customer- friendly adoption centers in the nation, in
addition to being pleasant places to work.

While we have one of the lowest euthanasia rates in the nation we are
seeing an up tick in euthanasia for the first time in several years as a
result of the housing/economic crisis. We are working hard to develop
programs to stem the tide of relinquished pets and will continue to
develop programs to help reduce these numbers. Concerned members of the
humane and business communities are lending a hand to those efforts.

With the support of the Mayor and the City Council - indeed, at their
insistence - we have continued the difficult task of moving our
Department toward a future in which euthanasia truly is the option of
last resort in managing the population in our Animal Care Centers. The
work you've all done to make that happen is greatly appreciated and I
know you share the Department's commitment to continuing that progress
in a practical, realistic manner. Even if there occasionally will be
moments when things aren't going as well as we prefer, turning the clock
back is not an option.

This past budget cycle was very difficult, and the fear of impending
layoffs was palpable and demoralizing. Thankfully, layoffs have been
averted after a strong collaborative effort by management, staff, the
unions, our commission and our constituents to convince decision makers
that any layoffs would be detrimental to the fundamental welfare of the
animals and people we care about and for. We are grateful to the Mayor
and the City Council for being responsive to our shared concerns.

One need only read the newspaper to know we're not out of the woods yet
for future budget years but, with your help Department management will
keep making the case that each and every one=2 0of you makes a crucial
contribution to providing the public and our animals with the service
they require and deserve. We are also reaching out in a variety of
directions to identify ideas and sources for enhanced revenues to
support you and our Department's work.

While it may appear to be a time of unprecedented division within our
Department I remain confident that our best days are before us. We have
assembled, and will continue to assemble, a truly world class animal
welfare organization. While there may be some disagreement regarding
direction we are clearly moving forward and my door remains open for
constructive dialogue. It is important that we all continue to strive
together to be more professional and worthy of the trust put in us by
our constituents.


Ed Boks
General Manager
LA Animal Services
221 N. Figueroa, Suite 500
LA CA 90012
Phone: 213.482.9558
Fax: 213.482.9511
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