Waterloo animal control debate heats up at council meeting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo animal control debate heats up at council meeting

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

There were hot tempers at Monday night's Waterloo City Council meeting in a discussion over the future of animal control in the city.

The controversy swirls over some city council members objections to the city providing animal control services.

Last year, the city took over animal control from Cedar Bend Humane Society in a move proponents said would save money and provide better service.

The city's traffic operations department is now in charge of the animal control division.

In a council work session, the head of that department told the council she feels her reputation's on the line after e-mail exchanges and public comments from some city leaders.

"Comments were made and rumors were heard that I spent money on purchases under the table. I've worked for the city for 40 years. I take my job very seriously and my position very seriously and take these comments personally," said Sandie Greco.

Greco appeared before the council after at least two city councilmen said they thought the city should look at returning animal control services to the Humane Society.

Greco told the group the department is still a work in progress but would save the city money in the long run.

Last week, councilmen Steve Schmitt and Tom Lind toured both the city facility and the Humane Society's facility.

Their public stance about revisiting animal control is what made emotions run high.

"I do not understand why a very small number are so critical of our operations. We will not fail. There's a small minority who doesn't believe animal control should be done by the city but it is. It only makes sense as a city leader to support a city department - not tear it down publicly," said Greco.

"I think that's part of the city council's job to ask questions and to help oversee things. If you took anything personally, I'm sorry that you did and I certainly didn't mean it that way," said Schmitt.

"I am really sick and tired of the quite honestly what I'm calling the municipal version of McCarthyism that has pervaded these meetings and it must end implying that a city department head is doing something under the table assaults her integrity and this pattern has gone on for months," said council member Carolyn Cole.

Because it was a work session, there was no formal proposal and no actions taken.

But Lind and Schmitt told KWWL they're going to continue to look at the issue and will probably bring a motion forward to have a formal discussion and possibly vote on it soon.

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