The pros and cons of privatizing the Montclair Animal Shelter

Source: Nicholas Katzban and Lisa Marie Segarra, North Jersey, October 6, 2016

Following a disastrous fire this past April, the Montclair Township Animal Shelter building on North Willow Street was deemed unfit for entry, and its future seemed vague. Though shelter operations have long since returned to the building with limited access to certain floors, contractors have worked tirelessly to return the shelter to its original state. However, at a recent council meeting, acting Township Manager Timothy Stafford said that he is looking into whether or not the best option for the municipality would be to privatize the shelter, handing its operations over to a third party. … At present, there are three feasible scenarios: One in which the township hires a new director and continues to manage the shelter through its Department of Health and Human Services, one in which the township outsources shelter management to a third party, but leases the refurbished building to that group so that the shelter stays in town, and one in which both operations and management are outsourced to another party and location. … Katz said she’s concerned that the township has not reached out to the committee for input, and worries that decisions regarding animal welfare are being made purely on a financial basis. She acknowledged that some of her concerns stem from previous attempts to privatize the shelter by former Township Manager Marc DaShield, which she described as a “secretive process.” …