Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Head of Animal Control Resigns; Mayor's Official Said the Appointee Was Forced out over Management Issues

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Head of Animal Control Resigns; Mayor's Official Said the Appointee Was Forced out over Management Issues

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA

The head of Jacksonville's Animal Care and Control was dismissed this week, with the mayor's office citing concerns over management of the office as a reason.

Dave Flagler, 53, said Thursday he was unclear about exactly why he was asked to resign his $83,000-a-year job Tuesday after three years with the city. He is on administrative leave. His last day is Friday.

"The gist that I get is that the vision I have for Animal Care and Control is different than the administration's," Flagler said.

Mayor John Peyton's chief administrative officer, Alan Mosley, said Flagler was good with the animals but had more difficulty as a manager.

Fred Forbes, finance and administrative manager in the city's Environmental Resources Department, will take over as interim director, Mosley said.

Flagler said his strength was more about taking care of the needs of animals than running an office. But he said he saw that as a strength. He spent much of his time reaching out to animal welfare groups to coordinate placement for animals.

He said he also lobbied aggressively for funding but didn't get the needed resources. For instance, a planned new animal shelter hasn't gotten off the ground yet because of environmental issues with the site and budget issues. Flagler said he was kept out of the loop on any progress.

The Animal Care and Control operating budget has gone up slightly from $2.9 million in 2003-04 to $3.5 million this year. During the same four years, the numbers of animals taken into the shelter rose from about 18,000 in 2003 to about 26,500 in 2006.

Last year, Flagler went directly to the City Council to ask for extra money at budget time, a move that he said rankled the administration.

And a couple of years ago, Flagler asked the Sheriff's Office to consider taking over Animal Care and Control, in hopes of getting extra money. …

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