Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

 

September 9

The Toilet Chronicles

Cast:
Marilyn = Marilyn Jones, Bisbee, AZ, Animal Shelter Volunteer
Den = Bisbee City Council Member Dennis Nelson
Dan = Mayor Dan Beauchamp

July 12, 2008
Deep in the Heart of Texas

NOTE: I considered taking this down since I've left Bisbee, Theo isn't working at the shelter, Dan Beauchamp isn't the mayor, and Dennis Nelson is no longer a city councilperson (he aspired to be mayor but was defeated)(ask me if I cried). I asked Theo if she thought it was time to take the page down, she being the one who was forced to use an empty kennel as a bathroom for months on end. She said to leave it up. That kind of indignity just doesn't go away overnight, I guess.

So, Dan and Den and any other man who thinks he can dictate when a woman needs to go to the bathroom: Eat it. You were cads. Your prostate karma probably sucks bigtime, by the way.

And I have been asked about the end of the story. Did we get a toilet? Yup, but it took a visit by OSHA to get it. Of course, as long as OSHA was there they took a peek around and found a trunkload of other violations.

I guess most small towns that are not bedroom communities of larger towns can run as Bisbee does. They just become a sort of law unto themselves. But I still think Bisbee took this to a degree most little towns only dream of.

By the way, if Dan Beauchamp and Dennis Nelson want this removed, they can each write a real letter of apology to Theo, admitting they were in error when they made her having to go to the bathroom in a dog run a condition of her employment. As soon as Theo tells me the letters have been received, down come "The Toilet Chronicles."

February 2, 2004

Hi Den,

Would it be possible for me to get a copy of the shelter expenses for the months of December and January? I have some questions. Also, is the shelter budget public record? How can I request a copy of it?

During the last two months, the shelter has purchased NO dog or cat food--everything was donated--and yet Hector today informed Theo that the City would NOT buy any puppy food. I thought we had an agreement about this--that the dogs were to be fed appropriately, which means puppies get puppy food.

In addition, the shelter still doesn't have that dividing gate so the dogs can run around without supervision (a volunteer finally rigged up something with a couple of chain link panels that were lying around, but this isn't really adequate).

And no toilet, of course (which is embarrassing when we get people from Tucson arriving in need of one--we have to send them to a service station or to the recovery house explaining that there is NO toilet, public or otherwise).

There are some other issues, too--none of the policemen or Hector are filling out intake sheets for the animals that are brought in. Even if Theo is there to fill the forms out herself, no one ever has enough information. There are liability issues involved in this as well as common sense issues.

Currently, there are only two adoptable dogs, two adoptable pups, and two adoptable kittens in the shelter--a real record! We are doing great in the adoption department--we just need some more cooperation from the people in charge.

Marilyn

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February 3 (Mr. Nelson's responses are at the end of each of my paragraphs--I have put them in italics and bold print.)

Hi Den,

Would it be possible for me to get a copy of the shelter expenses for the months of December and January? I have some questions.

You need to go to the City Clerk’s office to make a public records request. It will probably take a few days for the information to be collected.

Also, is the shelter budget public record?

The shelter budget consists of a line item in the police department budget. If I recall correctly, the amount initially budgeted for operation of the animal shelter was $8000. This did not include Theo’s salary.

How can I request a copy of it? "

Copies of the budget are at the Public Library and the Clerk’s Office.

During the last two months, the shelter has purchased NO dog or cat food--everything was donated--and yet Hector today informed Theo that the City would NOT buy any puppy food. I thought we had an agreement about this--that the dogs were to be fed appropriately, which means puppies get puppy food.

Please let Theo deal with this through the administrative process. She should do another status report for Lt. Holly and include her recommendation for purchase of puppy food together with an explanation why it is needed. You can bring the matter to my attention should an unsatisfactory answer be provided.

In addition, the shelter still doesn't have that dividing gate so the dogs can run around without supervision (a volunteer finally rigged up something with a couple of chain link panels that were lying around, but this isn't really adequate).

This should be included in Theo’s status report.

And no toilet, of course (which is embarrassing when we get people from Tucson arriving in need of one--we have to send them to a service station or to the recovery house explaining that there is NO toilet, public or otherwise).

This doesn’t seem cost efficient at this time. Theo is there four hours a day five days a week. We can revisit this issue if her hours are increased to eight hours a day.

There are some other issues, too--none of the policemen or Hector are filling out intake sheets for the animals that are brought in. Even if Theo is there to fill the forms out herself, no one ever has enough information. There are liability issues involved in this as well as common sense issues.

This should be brought to Lt. Holly’s attention in Theo’s status report. Theo should include an explanation why complete information is necessary and what happens when the information is insufficient.

Currently, there are only two adoptable dogs, two adoptable pups, and two adoptable kittens in the shelter--a real record! We are doing great in the adoption department--we just need some more cooperation from the people in charge.

You people are doing a great job, just tremendous. Thanks.

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February 3 (to Den Nelson)

Thanks. I am disappointed about the toilet issue, however--cost effective?? I don't know any women who don't need to use a toilet between 7:45 and 12:15 every day (including commute time) (and Theo stays longer than noon on many days). Hector can always use his trailer since it is still there, still hooked up.

M.

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February 3 (to Den Nelson)

I did a little research this morning and here's a link to the relevant OSHA page:

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9790 1910.141(c)(1)(i) = pertinent section

Toilets aren't a matter of cost effectiveness--they are a necessity. Let's just put in the long-overdue portapotty at the shelter because it is the right thing to do.

Marilyn

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February 4

Dear Mayor Beauchamp,

Over two months ago, when I brought the shelter's lack of a toilet to your attention, you expressed concern and said that you were embarrassed that no one had thought of this problem.

Yesterday, however, upon asking Den Nelson about the status of the toilet, I was advised that putting a toilet at the shelter had been determined to be not "cost effective." I was extremely disappointed in this response.

A toilet is not a luxury--it is a legal requirement for any permanent workplace, no matter how short the workday of the employee. I have done the research and this is an OSHA regulation. All I am requesting for the shelter is a portapotty, not the OSHA-required flush toilet; I realize the City has a limited budget.

Allowing a City employee to work without a toilet is unconscionable. What if this were your daughter or wife or mother? Would you want her to be subject to these conditions (my words, not Theo's, incidentally--this is my cause alone) and treated with so little respect by her employer?

Let's just do the right thing and put in a portapotty immediately.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Jones

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February 5

Dear Mayor Beauchamp and Councilperson Nelson,

I don't understand how two nice, thoughtful, well-meaning, intelligent men can think that making an employee work without a toilet is acceptable. I guess that is why there has to be Federal regulation of something this elementary--you are apparently not the only employers who think this way, and probably a lot of them are nice, thoughtful, well-meaning, and intelligent, too.

Anyway, thank goodness there ARE those regulations and the folks to enforce them, and right in Tucson, too. The trouble is, if I file the complaint form I am nearly positive that the City will be required to put in a flush toilet at the shelter or close the shelter (thereby NOT having a permanent workplace that doesn't have a toilet). These are NOT my goals.

I keep thinking that if I take my concern higher, someone is bound to see my point, but I am at the top already when I am writing the Mayor. I suppose I could go to a City Council meeting and go on record with the problem, but what good would that do other than make some sensational headline?

Den, you said that the portapotty wouldn't be cost-effective. I maintain that it would be VERY cost-effective compared to dealing with OSHA, so if cost effectiveness is the concern, there you have it. If I receive no answer to this email, either, I will just go ahead and file the complaint before the end of the week.

I can't stand the idea of Theo, or anyone else, having to do what she does as a condition of her employment.

Marilyn

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February 5

Marilyn, I will take another look at it; I agree that we need to have a toilet there. I don't know what Dennis is talking about but I will find out. However, please stop sending these messages that are so patronizing and so self-righteous. I am growing increasingly weary of them. One day you are saying things are fine (last Sunday) and a few days later you are plowing into us. Give it a rest.

Dan

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February 5

I didn't want to bring up the toilet issue at the Central School luncheon! Or the Chamber mixer, for that matter.

Dan, you are IT here. I told you (and Den, Jack and Ted) about the toilet ten weeks ago, so this is hardly an ambush, and nothing has been done and Theo is still having to go to the bathroom like a dog. I naively thought that just advising you all about the situation would be sufficient, but it wasn't. Getting personal with me about my emails and/or writing style isn't fixing anything.

Marilyn

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February 5

Marilyn, you opened your email with reference to two 'otherwise intelligent people'. Do you think this is not personal? Do you think a steady series of emails with threats bristling everywhere is not personal?

Good grief.

I am not IT here; the city manager is the chief administrator of the town and he is the responsible party.

As mayor, I am the chief complaint desk for the city and accountable and hence I will follow-up. I want the shelter to work more smoothly. But it is far from being the only thing I or the City is involved in.

If these abusive messages keep coming from you, I will refuse to open them.

Dan

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Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Peter Claver, Saint Gorgonius, Saint Isaac or Sahak I, Saint Ciaran or Kieran, saint Audomarus or Omer, and Saint Bettelin.

 

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