Mayor McBarnes threatens veto of Humane Society program

Just one day after the Frankfort city council heard testimony on the budget for a Humane Society program, the city's mayor is asking council members to deny the budget at its next vote.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 12:05 AM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 12:07 AM

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) -- Just one day after the Frankfort city council heard testimony on the budget for a Humane Society program, the city's mayor is asking council members to deny the budget at its next vote. The reason, he says, is a lawsuit threat.

For the past couple of weeks, the Clinton County humane society has been under fire for abruptly firing its director and staff.

Due to the controversy, Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes promised the public at last night's council meeting he would post the organization's bylaws on his facebook page. But this afternoon, he posted a different message.

It reads in part "My recommendation to the City Council is PULL FUNDING FROM THE TRAP, NEUTER AND RELEASE PROGRAM IMMEDIATELY. If simple By Laws and Articles of Incorporation are secretive the Humane Society should not be receiving tax dollars."

McBarnes explained that shortly after posting the bylaws, he got a phone call from the humane society attorney, threatening to sue the city if the post wasn't removed.

He's taken down the original bylaws post for now, but still believes the documents are public record through the IRS.

In a phone conversation with News 18, McBarnes took his feelings step further, saying he plans to veto the budget for the trap and neuter program if it is passed. That would send the measure back to city council, where it would need a two-thirds majority approval.

We've reached out the board of directors for their take on the matter, but haven't heard back.

As we reported yesterday, the budget vote was delayed just last night over insufficient data. It's expected to be picked up again next month.

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