published Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

McKamey board chairwoman steps down

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

McKamey Animal Center’s board Chairwoman Ann Ball resigned Wednesday night after she stepped in as chair and to head the center in November when the executive director resigned.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, Ball told the board members she was burned out at the center and needed to step away. The board nominated Karla McKamey Valadez, one of the founders of McKamey, to chair the board.

Ball, who has served on the board for five years, said she was tired of the recent hassle with the city. She’s also spent three years previously as board chair.

The relationship between McKamey and the city of Chattanooga, which contracts with the center for $1.5 million a year to conduct the city’s animal control, has been rocky since last year.

After several board members resigned and one board member questioned Executive Director Karen Walsh’s annual $10,000 bonus, Mayor Andy Berke’s staff asked the city auditor in early October to conduct an audit of McKamey’s governing body. In mid-October, Walsh announced she would resign to take a job with PetSmart Charities.

Five months later, City Auditor Stan Sewell hasn’t finalized the audit.

In December, City Council voted to extend the 5-year-old contract through June with McKamey, and the center is still waiting on an updated contract.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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