New Good Shepherd Humane Society board elects officers

Thursday, October 13, 2005

EUREKA SPRINGS -- The newly elected board of the Good Shepherd Humane Society (GSHS) wasted no time last week as it got down to the business of electing officers and establishing committees Friday night.

The new board officers are John Reeve, president; Richard Oberg, vice-president; Doug Brashears, treasurer; and Sarah Moore, secretary.

One-, two- and three-year terms were chosen by lots.

Committee heads were selected as follows: Legal, Kent Crow; finance, Doug Brashears; fund-raising, Sarah Moore; membership/newsletter, Richard Oberg; and shelter operations, Ken Bates and Rachel Fink.

In a special membership meeting Thursday, 327 GSHS members voted to oust the former board for "cause" and elect a new one.

The former board, however, considers the special meeting "invalid," according to board President Marty Martinek, and still considers itself in charge.

According to Oberg, Crow announced a freeze had been put on the account at the Bank of Eureka Springs, and that the bank's attorney was planning to file an injunction with the county court Monday morning to determine which board of directors is "correct."

Each side will have 20 days to gather evidence for the court to make a determination.

In the meantime, the bank is seeking approval from both Crow and Martinek for payment of any check that comes in.

Shelter manager Mary Rein said last week her paycheck for August and September was at first held up, but both Crow and Martinek approved it, and she was paid.

The question of whether a contract was properly executed between thrift shop manager Boyd Bush and the former board to mortgage the thrift shop remains to be seen, Oberg reported. The mortgage to Bush was in exchange for $40,000 for operating expenses.

Bush insisted Thursday he had given the shelter "$40,000 cash, check, same thing." But Martinek said Bush had actually given the Society a check for $20,000, and even though Martinek signed the papers, he did not fully understand how the other $20,000 was to be paid.

He advised that past President Carter Rein could explain the arrangement, but Rein did not return phone calls as of press time.

"I originally offered them $150,000, but they only wanted $40,000," Bush said.

He said the mortgage contract is for the Society to pay Bush $405 per month at 9 percent interest for 15 years.

He said the Society paid $127,000 for the thrift store.

If the Society defaults on the loan, Bush gets the thrift store plus 10 percent of the $40,000.

In the meantime, Rein continues to manage the shelter. She said Thursday locks had been rekeyed at the thrift store earlier in the week and had been rekeyed at the shelter in the last two weeks because employees had quit.

She said the crematorium has been tampered with on more than one occasion, and as a result, the shelter is not accepting animals for cremation at this time.

She also reported the dog that had been in the shelter the longest -- Neptune, who was admitted Sept. 10, 2004, was adopted Thursday morning.

The former board has been operating the shelter as a no-kill shelter, and claims that because of a dog obedience training program run by board member Marilyn Stockwell, animals are being adopted out rather than being euthanized.

This practice, among other procedural changes, has upset some members, who feel that too many homeless animals are being turned away while the board operates a "retirement home."

Whether the shelter will continue to operate as a no-kill facility under the new board remains to be decided, Oberg said.

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