Categories: volunteers

Misleading note causes misunderstanding by TNR volunteers over ‘cessation’ of TNR funding by city council

Note from Finance Director over TNR funding in Easton

‘Please note that Easton’s City Council did not approve funding for the TNR program in 2020’

The quote above is a note from the finance director of Easton City Council to all those involved in TNR programs. It was a sad moment and a sad day for those involved in TNR in this city which I believe is in Pennsylvania (correct me if I’m wrong).

Stephany Gallagher, a leading volunteer in the TNR program in the city, posted to Facebook that the news was very unfortunate because last year when money was available they were able to TNR 102 cats in the city of Easton over a 10 week period. I believe that the city had provided $3,500 in June of last year to cover the cost of the program.

Facebook post by TNR volunteer Stephany.

Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jnr. said that the funding had lapsed over legal concern. He posted to Facebook himself. You can see the post below which is self-explanatory.

Initially, my understanding (and similarly by the TNR volunteers) was that the City Council had made a decision to stop funding TNR for the current year. However, it appears that the concerns by the TNR volunteers about the cessation of funding was based on a misunderstanding of the policies of the city. But I think that it is fair to say that the misunderstanding comes from the terse note of the finance director. In retrospect it needed to be fuller with more detail.

The mayor says in his Facebook post that the funding of TNR for 2020 was never included in the budget so therefore it had not been disapproved. That is what he is saying I believe but perhaps he is backtracking and covering it up.

I have a clear sense, in fact, that the mayor will agree funding of some sort for the current year partly because of Facebook activity by TNR volunteers whose concerns are made clear on social media. This is the power of social media and it has been picked up by the mayor of the city.

Comment: Some form of funding of the work of TNR volunteers is very important in helping to make TNR effective in a municipality and volunteers deserve it. They provide free labour and funding of their own out of compassion for feral cats. In effect they are working for free for the council.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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