Local public-private partnerships are too private

Source: Allen Johnson, Greensboro News & Record, August 11, 2015

The sad news about allegations of abuse at the Guilford County Animal Shelter is disheartening in itself. But there is also a familiar pattern here – of a public-private partnership gone wrong for lack of openness. … But the bad news is a recurring problem with the public-private model in transparency and accountability:
1. The civil rights museum collecting financial documents at the end of board meetings and keeping those meetings closed to the public.
2. The performing arts center’s reluctance to release financial information in a clear and timely manner.
3. The nonprofit United Animal Coalition, which operates the Guilford County Animal Shelter, until very recently closing its meetings to the public, even as it gets more than $1.5 million a year in county tax money.


Guilford, Davidson County animal shelters involved in law enforcement investigation
Source: WXII12, August 7, 2015

Two Triad animal shelters are involved in an ongoing investigation into possible animal abuse and federal violations. Guilford County officials said Friday afternoon that a search warrant was served at the Davidson County Animal Shelter on July 23, and another search warrant was issued at the Guilford County Animal Shelter on July 30. Both shelters are run by a Greensboro-based nonprofit called the United Animal Coalition. Guilford County Commissioner Jeff Phillips said the possible federal violations involve the DEA. … Phillips said that, for months, commissioners have received complaints alleging abuse, a toxic work environment and nepotism from current and former employees and volunteers at the shelters.