Feature image by Dave Parker
The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday may finally vote on legislation that would require the county’s animal shelter director be a licensed veterinarian.
The bill sponsored by Councilwoman Hazel Erby stems from constituents voicing their concerns about the conditions of the county’s animal shelters and the qualifications and conduct of the recently removed Director Beth Vesco-Mock, who wasn’t a veterinarian.
During various public forums at St. Louis County Council meetings, speakers accused Vesco-Mock of making racist remarks, and described her as being a bully.
Erby also voiced her concerns about the embattled director, stating at a County Council meeting in March that Vesco-Mock is not a licensed veterinarian.
“The conclusion was that we needed a director or manager to be a licensed veterinarian. I received messages all last night and this morning about the animals at the Animal Control Center being ill, and there’s dysentery and parvo that exists right now,” Erby said. “I was told that animals are dying and that there’s a crisis over there. We need somebody in control who knows what they’re doing.”
County Executive Steve Stenger fired Vesco-Mock in March after an internal investigation found Vesco-Mock guilty of inappropriate conduct.
Also on the docket for Tuesday, is Erby’s bill that seeks to give various county employees a 10 percent raise will be heard on its second reading phase.
The bill would transfer $295,657 from the unappropriated balance of the general fund to the county’s health fund to appropriate a raise for the salaries of corrections medicine employees along with $300,279 from the general fund for the raise of various Department of Justice service employees.
This comes after weeks of public comment from various St. Louis County corrections medicine employees stating that they believe they were considered public safety employees that were deserving of Proposition P funds.