Hayden’s dogs to run free … for a while longer

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By Mila Besich-Lira

During the Hayden Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, the council heard from many citizens regarding the recent dismissal of the Animal Control officer who was hired in late 2012 and other safety concerns.

Katie Quinn who was the person originally hired as the Animal Control Officer specifically expressed her concerns that she was let go without cause. She explained her qualifications stating that she has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences and is capable of writing grants to further aid her in the position during public comments.

Hayden Mayor Monica Badillo apologized to the council and the public that she missed a few meetings due to family emergencies but she did say that Quinn was highly qualified for the job. She explained that when a dog is found with rabies the animal must be decapitated, Quinn is experienced with this procedure from working at a slaughter house.

In late 2012, the council voted to have the town manager work with a committee to hire an animal control officer due to the rise in dogs roaming the town. In December, the council expressed concern that they did not vote and approve the hiring of the position. According to Hayden Town Code the Town Manager can hire for this position. Quinn was let go from her position after the council inquiry was made despite the rules in the code book.

After a lengthy discussion on the subject of creating a temporary full-time Animal Control officer and how the process was completed the first time, Councilmember Rhonda Cooper made a motion to start the hiring process over from scratch. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Thomas Lagunas and was approved 3-2. Councilmembers Enrique Lopez, Lagunas and Cooper voted in favor of starting over. Mayor Badillo and Councilmember Nannette Quesada voted against starting the process over.

The council also voted to approve an agreement with Asarco to allow off duty Hayden police officers to patrol Asarco property and voted to approve a contract for Town Manager Bill Liester. Cooper voted against approving the contract for the Town Manager.

The Council adopted a new vehicle policy which states that town vehicles cannot be taken home by employees if they live more than five miles out of the town limits.

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