The first appointment to the newly created Animal Services Commission for the County of San Bernardino is official. Michelle Guthmiller, a resident of San Bernardino and Supervisor Neil Derry’s choice for the commission, was confirmed by the Board of Supervisors at their regular meeting on Tuesday and becomes the inaugural appointment to the oversight board.
Derry pushed through the creation of the commission after numerous complaints about the infamous Devore Animal Shelter, the county’s main detention and euthanizing facility. Accusations of animal abuse, improper euthanizing procedures and other animal brutality by county employees have been rampant for years.
Thanks to the Internet and social media, the atrocities at Devore are known worldwide. Animal welfare workers from throughout California attended the original board of supervisors meeting to voice support of the commission.
Derry said of his selection, “Michelle’s passion for animals is evidenced by her extensive involvement with local organizations and complimented by her pragmatic understanding that we must balance the needs of animals with the limited resources available.” Each board member is allowed one appointment.
According to the press release issued today, “Guthmiller actively volunteers at the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter and maintains a leadership role with H.E.A.L. (Helping Every Animal League). Additionally, she previously worked with the Search and Rescue team at the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.”
Guthmiller says of her opportunity to serve, “I am excited about this opportunity to serve the people of San Bernardino County and support the shelter staff tasked with caring for our abandoned animals. I am confident that we can all work together to decrease the euthanasia rates of our animals and alleviate the financial strain placed on taxpayers.”
The commission will not begin its oversight provision until at least three board members make an appointment. Supervisor Josie Gonzales, whose district Devore is in, has put up every barrier she could come up with to prevent creation and functionality of the commission.
Gonzales is against the commission but was on the losing end of the 4-1 vote to create it. Gonzales has had a long-standing feud with Derry as Derry as challenged the status quo in what is the most corrupt county in California. Gonzales, a Democrat, is chairman of the board and is supporting James Ramos, also a Democrat, in hopes he can defeat Derry in the Republican district.
There is no word as to whether Gonzales is in the process of making an appointment or using the lack thereof as a delaying tactic until after the election in hopes of dismantling the commission before it is functional. Just Say NO to Josie Gonzales is a Facebook Fan Page dedicated to her questionable behavior and support of animal abusers.
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