published Thursday, January 9th, 2014

McKamey Animal Center Board OKs extension offered by Chattanooga

McKamey Animal Center.
McKamey Animal Center.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The McKamey Animal Center Board approved Wednesday an extension of its current operating agreement offered by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke as the city attorney works on a new contract for the nonprofit.

The continued operating agreement is “5 years old, and way out of date,” but is necessary for the city to “legally” be able to continue paying the shelter and allow the shelter to continue operating, said McKamey board Chairwoman Ann Ball.

“The issue is that we don’t know where it [the new contract] is,” Ball said. “We would like to see where the city attorney is with the operating agreement and get the process moving.”

Concerns were voiced over the “budgeting for outcomes” requirement mentioned in the continuation of the operating agreement.

The board had requested clarification from the city attorney about what “budgeting for outcomes” meant, but received no response, said Ball. The board voted to accept the continuation of the agreement subject to a better understanding of the new budgeting requirements.

The McKamey board has been under scrutiny by the city following public disagreements among board members and questions surrounding its financial and parliamentary decisions over the past several months. The city currently provides $1.5 million of the center’s $2.2 million yearly budget.

The city doesn’t want to move forward with a new operating agreement until the audit, which has been going on for three months, is completed, Ball said.

Additionally, the board voted to allow Ball to hire a replacement for Karen Walsh, the center’s former executive director, who resigned following inquiry into her receipt of a $10,000 bonus without a vote from the governing board, pending board approval.

New committee assignments made by Ball also were approved.

Elisabeth Donnovin, an appointee to the board by Berke, was not named to any of the board’s committees and cast the only dissenting vote. Ball reasoned that Donnovin should not serve on any of the board’s committees citing past conflict-of- interest problems with representatives of the city.

Contact Alex Harris at aharris@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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