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Third Animal Control Officer Said to Be Coming Back on Monday

Mayor's office confirmed Friday afternoon that the same ACO let go about six weeks ago will be returning to the job next week in the wake of the Town Council's vote May 9 to restore the position in next fiscal year's budget.

Mayor John Harkins' office has confirmed that the process of re-hiring the third Animal Control Officer has begun and that the same employee who was let go almost two months ago will be offered the position again and possibly start working as soon as Monday.

The mayor's Chief of Staff Marc Dillon told Stratford Patch Friday, "Yes, the same person is being called today," when asked.

Dillon noted that the process is "not as simple" as some may think, but that the mayor has instructed the town's human resources department to make the necessary arrangements and contacts to restore the position.

On May 9, five of the six Republicans on the Town Council voted, with Mayor Harkins' vote breaking a 5-5 tie, to pass a full town budget that included restoration of a third ACO position.

While the mayor had axed the position as part of his original fiscal year 2011-12 recommended budget, both the amended budget passed by the Republican-controlled Council on May 9 and a minority budget proposal put forth by the four Council Democrats earlier in May called for restoring a third ACO to the animal control division, part of the Stratford police department.

While the mayor had indicated to the Stratford Patch on May 9 that the position may not be restored until after July 1, there are other reports that at least one member of the Harkins administration was on the record saying the position would be restored much sooner.

In a Friday , Marjean O'Malley, President of S.T.A.R.S., a support and volunteer group at the Stratford Animal Shelter, complained that the town was not moving fast enough.

"Stratford Animal Control has been 'doing more with less' forever ... that is certainly evidenced in comparison with neighboring towns that have more than twice the staff and half the call and impounds," she said.

"This officer needs to be reinstated immediately in order for this department to function at the bare minimum in order to serve Stratford."

However, Dillon said Friday, "Human Resources will be calling the ACO this afternoon, and reinstatement will be effective next Monday (5/16)."

Agnes Dyro-Leonetti May 13, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Thank you Mayor Harkins for doing the right thing for the people of Stratford and the animals. Thank you to everyone that made this possible.
Marjean O'Malley May 13, 2011 at 08:02 PM
On behalf of STARS and myself I want to thank Mayor Harkins for returning ACO Fitzmorris to her position at Animal Control on this coming Monday. I am sure all the residents that have been supporters of Animal Control now and over many years are happy to hear ths wonderful news as well! Marjean O'Malley, President STARS
George E. Mulligan May 14, 2011 at 04:11 AM
Stratford: $ 190 million Budget & NO HOMELSSS SHELTER. I believe Budget is 33 % political GRAFT. This DIVERSION created headlines MANIPULATING a passionate, well meaning group, of caring people. - The HANNEY SHAKESPEARE absurd contract was a comparative situation, which was also indefensible. - Threatening to close schools, is S.O.P. to get BUDGET FULLY PASSED, while I believe GRAND THEFT exists in the BUDGET. - Threatening to cut LIBRARY? On $ 190 million Budget. - There is NO WAY the Animal Shelton could protect the Animals without this cut restored! - I support Marjean, Beth, and friends. It is sad to see people used and worked up unnecessarily, to cover political ploys. - I believe many in politics and government belong in JAIL as FRAUDS!
Pam Landry May 14, 2011 at 12:54 PM
great news!
George E. Mulligan May 15, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Noreen: great question! Answer: evident, plain, + clear. Political plants among honestly passionate supporters, causes Headline diversions.

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