Animal Toys Drive Up Budget Costs in Southbury

Staff was buying toys for the animals but told not to do that anymore.

File photo
File photo

Who knew that dog toys could be budget busters, but that appears to partially be the case in Southbury. 

During a Board of Finance meeting in June the 2013-14 town budget was reviewed. 

According to meeting minutes, there were two areas of concern, the Animal Control and Parks and Recreation budgets. 

First Selectman Edward Edelson said some of the animal control expenses are related to the purchasing of toys for the shelter animals and he instructed staff not to do that anymore, meeting minutes state. 

Also some of the staff comes into work early, and Edelson said that will no longer be allowed because of overtime costs, minutes state. 

The Parks and Recreation Department budget needs to be reviewed because of overtime costs, and all departments will need to keep a close eye on overtime costs, meeting minutes state. The Board of Finance will not approve overtime if it is not budgeted, meeting minutes state. 

Toni Kay-Wolff July 11, 2014 at 08:58 AM
I am left with my jaw on the floor. Buying dog toys drove up the budget for Animal Control?? Get serious, please. As a dog trainer for the last 27+ years I have bought more dog toys than the average bear. I can tell you that AC would be hard pressed to spend more than hundreds on dog toys, if that. That is hardly a "budget buster". If it hit $1,000.00 I'd be ok with it. Considering the over $20K+ (or was it over $30K ??) spent on outside counsel approved by our BOS in the ridiculous case involving AC and our First Selectman, I think you are looking in the wrong place for these "budget busters". I'd like to see those numbers, if you don't mind, BOF.
Dorrie Johnson July 11, 2014 at 09:00 AM
Inexpensive toys could be found at local thrift shops. In fact, the Upper Room Thrift Shop at the Church of the Epiphany, often has stuffed animals that could be used and we would gladly donate them. If a worker comes by and identifies themselves as an employee from the Animal Control Office we would certainly donate such items. We also get leashes and such that might be helpful. We also have items that might be used as bedding.
Steve Singer July 11, 2014 at 05:56 PM
Buying toys for the animals is a nice humane gesture, I just hope they bought them at the Southbury Training School's Thrift Shop where they would cost less than $1 each. I also sincerely hope there are receipts to support each toy purchase reimbursement request. Overtime should ALWAYS be approved in advance by management unless there is a documented emergency situation. Let's stop the unnecessary spending, please.


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