As Danville's former Animal Control Officer (ACO), I am the lead petitioner on Article 2012-18, which seeks to require that the Town's ACO be an elected position each year as permitted by NHRSA 41:1. The reason that I am promoting this change is because I (as well as many others) feel that the Selectmen's "secret meeting" decision to not reappoint the Town's ACO and to commit the Town to a regional ACO contract with Plaistow is not in your economic best interests.

ACO services via Plaistow will take longer and will cost the Town more money than by keeping things as they were. While the Danville ACO budget over the past 5 years cost the Town an annual average of $14,572.00, the Danville ACO generated annual average revenues of $10,505.00 from fines and license fees. As a result, the total annual average cost to the Town for their own ACO and ACO budget was only $4,067.00. The regional Plaistow ACO makes 60% more per hour than the Danville ACO made. Plaistow's kennel and holding costs are also 60% more than the previous Danville arrangement. Also, the number of licenses and associated fees generated under the new arrangement are down by 24% ($2500). In addition, apparently the newly hired regional ACO resigned abruptly after only two months. The Danville police are currently acting as interim ACOs, which costs the Town more money and takes time away from other safety related tasks that the police should be doing. It also increases liability issues for the Town as the police are neither trained nor certified to properly care for animals or to deal with the many different animal related issues that come up. The police are also not vaccinated against rabies.

The Plaistow Selectmen minutes of August 22, 2011 reflect just how cost effective the regional ACO contract will be to Danville. They state that Plaistow will realize an annual potential increase in income of $15,000 to $30,000 with this new program.

Please vote "Yes" on Petition Article 2012-18 to put the ACO position back in Town in order to bring back the efficient, cost effective ACO services that we once had and to keep our tax dollars down.

Sheila Johannesen


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