Saratoga County animal shelter appointment causes controversy - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Saratoga County animal shelter appointment causes controversy

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BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - The successor for the Saratoga Animal Shelter's supervisor position is causing some turmoil within the county.

The leading candidate is 22-year-old Christina Abele, of Halfmoon, a shelter volunteer and recent Siena College graduate chosen by a shelter subcommittee. The Animal Shelter Supervisor position pays a starting salary of $62,413 per year "plus excellent benefits."

The Shelter Supervisor is responsible for a near million-dollar budget, a staff of 13 employees, and more than 300 volunteers.

Those against the appointment, which includes some shelter employees, tell NEWS10 Abele is inexperienced and unqualified to become Shelter Supervisor.

Opponents say the potential new supervisor should have more experience than two years as a dog walker and a business degree, and that the personnel committee should have considered and presented more qualified applicants.

The shelter has resumes from about 60 people they say applied for the position.

An advocate for the shelter, Carol Lang, says the issue "has all the controversy regarding political appointment versus qualified individuals" causing the debate that has been going on for the last two weeks.

The decision to hire Abele will be voted on by the Saratoga County supervisors Tuesday night.

"We expect quite a crowd of people against this vote," Lang said. About 30 residents are expected to speak before the board votes.

County supervisors say they have received many complaints from residents about the proposed appointment.

Supervisors Patti Southworth and John Collyer are against hiring Abele. The pair feel the personnel committee had better qualified applicants with the required experience. Abele has no supervisor/management experience on her resume to speak of, they say.

The animal shelter said they could not comment, except saying that that David Butler is no longer shelter supervisor.

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