My biggest fear coming out of this Benjamin Devitt lawsuit is that Marcia Mayeda will attempt to scapegoat Pit Bulls to the Board of Supervisors in an attempt to dismiss the many allegations leveled against her department and to keep her position as ruler of the county pound system intact.
Up to this point, the Board of Supervisors have shown absolutely no interest in holding Marcia Mayeda accountable for anything whatsoever.
To those on the ground and in the know, Marcia Mayeda is quite possibly one of the worst shelter directors in the entire United States. This is not hyperbole. Her reign of incompetence has been long and protected.
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors are the ones that appointed her way back when, and they are the only ones that can get rid of her now. Thankfully we have had 2 new Board members recently elected, Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, but they need to actually engage this issue and see it for themselves, not just accept a trumped up narrative or do a fabricated “walk-through” while everyone is on their best behavior.
At last week’s meeting another animal control-related issue came up…
Supervisors Hilda Solis and Michael D. Antonovich called Tuesday for a study of the county’s animal control system, including looking at relocating shelters to make them more central to constituents and coming up with a plan to repair the existing facilities, which range from 38 to 68 years old.
Okay, that’s great and all, and a very legitimate point to be made. But you can’t just “fix” the buildings and keep the top-level tyrants like Mayeda in there to continue running the show. That’s the equivalent of wrapping a turd in a shiny new sheet of paper with a beautiful ribbon tying it all away from view. The turd is Mayeda’s managing style and her desire for control, silence and compliance through retaliation. You cannot get hired unless you carry the flag for this non-transparency. You cannot volunteer if you ever step out of line. This is the county’s biggest problem, because it affects and soils the culture of the shelter system and breeds apathy and vindictiveness.
Hilda Solis is quoted further down the article as saying…
I don’t want to put any blame on the county staff, because I think the folks I met there on the ground are doing as much as they can with the limited resources. But I can tell you that we do need an overhaul.
Trust, you don’t need to blame the county staff as a whole. Most are good people who care or have simply been beaten down by their superior. But you do need to blame those individuals that are breathtakingly terrible at their jobs, and Marcia Mayeda is one of those people. The lack of innovation and creativity is evident. The lack of lifting a finger to try something new is evident. The desire to dismiss ideas out of hand and make excuses instead is evident. Most of the “county staff” that Solis references, their hands are basically tied when it comes to the scope of making legitimate change. Their hands need to become untied and people need to be held responsible for the jobs that they are hired on to do. That’s the bottom line.
New buildings would be great. Many of the buildings are not up to snuff. New locations would be even greater, as many of these shelters are currently placed in the most obscure of places. With Carson, for example, you could drive right by it and not even know it was there. But none of this matters if you still leave a despot in charge of it all. Real change is brought on by courage and ideas and volunteerism and communication and transparency and working together amidst your differences. None of that is possible with control freaks at the helm.
The article references how overcrowded the shelters are, and mentions Carson specifically, as if the “sheer volume of animals” excuses everything else under the sun from being done. It’s also a way to always excuse the killing or the profiling or the discrimination against the impounded dogs. I was at the Carson shelter 10 days before Christmas and over 1/3rd of the shelter was absolutely empty, yet they were still actively killing dogs every day. I know that this is done so that there are less kennels to clean. I went to the Board of Supervisors meeting that next week to further talk about Mayeda and the department. I mentioned this continuation of “killing for space” while kennel after kennel sits empty. This was my 4th time speaking in front of the Board in the last 3 or 4 months.
History shows that the Board of Supervisors are happy to sit idly by while Marcia Mayeda gets to whitewash any situation. This can change. I hope that it does. But if it doesn’t then it will not be surprising. We all have to voice to this Board that Mayeda IS THE PROBLEM. She should’ve been relieved of her position years ago and shouldn’t be able to continue sucking at the teat of the taxpayer by way of her 6-figure pension. She is a blight on this community and on Los Angeles County. Do not let her spin or pivot around this lawsuit’s purpose.