MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Mayor A C Wharton said he wants GPS devices on the trucks of animal control workers, but two years ago, the city could have had them installed free.
Donors offered to purchase the devices, but told abc24.com they were blown off by the administration.
“We had the money. We had the donors that were going to step in and purchase the GPS,” said animal advocate Beverly King.
King told abc24.com she advised then administrator Matthew Pepper and Division Director Janet Hooks about the donors at several Memphis Animal Shelter Advisory Board meetings. King said there was always an excuse why it couldn’t be done.
“Hooks said she would have to look into it and maybe there was a union issue. Another time we were told the police wanted GPS and they would have to go first before the shelter,” said King.
In July 2010, King said she and a group of advocates met with Mayor Wharton and explained they wanted to pay for the GPS.
“It was being offered for free,” said Allen Iskiwitz, a former Advisory Board member.
Iskiwitz was also at the meeting with Wharton.
“Not one time was there any glimmer of enthusiasm,” Iskiwitz told abc24.com.
Wharton told abc24.com he now wants to find money in the budget for the trackers.
Which means the city will have to pay for something it could have received for free.
“They missed the opportunity, and now the city is going to have to pay for it,” said King.
A spokesperson for the mayor said if donors still want to donate the money for the trackers, all they have to do is write a check and designate its purpose. City Council would have to approve it. No word if the donors are still interested.