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What is Important?

Molokai Humane Society’s Jenn Whitted stated “if we all stay focused on what is important we will meet those challenges and overcome them” (Dispatch Aug. 3 issue).  The present Molokai Humane Society (MoHS) board and executive director are rapidly moving forward, and I commend them on the funding they’ve acquired. However, they’ve lost sight of something fundamentally important: people.  

I have written and spoken with the board (Whitted was then president) many times about the importance of involving those in the trenches in planning for the future of MoHS.  The long range goal may be for a shelter, but what we have right now is the clinic.  It is important to understand what goes on in the clinic. To get that information, go to the sources: Tessa Reich, the vet tech; Dr. Hollis, the visiting vet who has been on-island the most since December, and expressed an interest in coming here full time (see April 18th MoHS meeting minutes); Dr. Eileen, who has the longest history with Molokai (six years); Dr. Sterling who established the clinic; Dr. Shanna; and Dr. Leianne.   Previous board members, animal owners and volunteers are other important sources.  What a wealth of knowledge to contribute to the future of MoHS if the board would just tap into it. 
I naively thought the important priority of any board is to listen, ask questions, create an atmosphere of open dialogue and spend the beginning of their tenure learning the best way to represent the stakeholders of their organization.  It appears the present MoHS board has a different concept of “what is important” than I.   I have honestly tried to understand; I’ve attended all public meetings, sent emails and talked with board members, but I am at a loss. 

What we had until last week was well-functioning clinic – and Tessa Reich.   Dr. Sterling wrote to the board on April 26, 2011, “From my point of view the most valuable addition by far was the addition of Tessa as regular staff. Tessa lightened the load for everyone (volunteers and veterinarians) and increased efficiency and quality of service a hundred fold.”

To quote Whitted again, “as we transition into the next phase of the MoHS there will be more challenges that we face.”  A huge challenge right now is establishing respectful communication and dialogue to continue the good work for Molokai’s animals.  Isn’t that what is important?

Mahalo, Keri Zacher

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