BARC Culture Labeled "Unacceptable"
by: Laurie Johnson, August 26, 2009 10:08:22 pm
Although Gerry Fusco is already working and implementing changes at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, his $135,000 contract for that work is still up in the air. He's already been authorized to spend nearly $50,000 on the department's turnaround, without a completed contract.
Councilmembers Ron Green and Pam Holm tagged the contract, citing a desire to review the terms for another week before approving it.
Meanwhile, outside consultant Margaret Robinson shared her analysis of BARC after interviewing and surveying stakeholders in animal welfare issues.
"The culture there really is a very toxic work culture. A lot of "gotcha" kind of missions going on there. An us vs. them kind of dynamic going on with all the stakeholder groups, but I would say most especially between the employees and the volunteers who clearly need to be working together."
Robinson, who was hired by the mayor's office to conduct the multi-stakeholder initiative, calls the situation at BARC completely unacceptable.
"If there's nothing else that you hear me say today, this is it — that you all, the city, have really got to make sure that you instate strong, capable leadership at BARC and that you mandate and empower to make the changes to turn it around."
The mayor says that turnaround is already underway under the leadership of Gerry Fusco. And he says the city is committed to finding the right people to carry BARC forward.
Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.