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Lawrence Humane Society Director Backed by Community

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Community interest has been raised about the recent suspension - or directed administrative leave - of Midge Grinstead, who has been lauded by many supporters for running a program that's head and shoulders above area humane society programs. Or should we say head and wagging tails above?

The monthly LHS board meeting, normally scheduled the second Tuesday of every month, was rescheduled and is this coming Tuesday, 11/16, at 6 p.m. at the shelter - 1805 E. 19th St., Lawrence, KS.

The meetings are open to the public unless the board chooses to go into Executive Session and then the meeting becomes closed to the public.

Board members have remained closed mouthed about the issue(s) surrounding Ms. Grinstead, but various rumors are being circulated.

It will be of interest to many within the Lawrence community to see what transpires at Tuesday's meeting.

Comments

jjt 5 years, 6 months ago

It is difficult to be a leader particularly when things go wrong. The HS has prospered under Midge Grinstead. It is called the Lawrence Humane Society let the people of Lawrence have a say. I hope that Midge and the society can get past this and that she comes back from administrative leave with her head held high and is able to get on with the job.

workingforanimals 5 years, 6 months ago

I have been involved with the HS for over 20 years now. I have had interactions with previous directors and knew this organization when it's budget was a mere drop in the bucket. It has come along ways in these past 15 years. The people of Lawrence should be proud of the efforts and the reputation the LHS has. I've known Midge for the last 15 years. She is relentless in her pursuit of justice for the animals, tireless in her efforts to raise more funds, passionate about the mission of the LHS. This may be the biggest challenge that she will face in her career. Unfortunately, it is probably going to be the most devastating also. I have personal experience working for a non profit. The hours are long, the pay slim, the gratitude for doing a good job almost non-existent. What I've found in the 25 years of working for a non profit is that it's not about the director, the board, the volunteers or the employees. It's about the purpose, the mission of the organization. What public service does it provide? Who benefits? What can we do to make it better? I have questions? Why isn't the board regulating it's own board members? If the comments on this site hold any truthfulness then why are 4 board members being allowed to align themselves together to hurt the very organization that they are positioned to protect? Who's overseeing the board? A time issue? Give me a break? If any of you work in animal care then you know that we aren't in it for the money, the glory or the pats that we get on the back. We're here because we believe that by taking care of a living breathing creature we are fulfilling a greater good. I have been to the fundraisers ~ listened to Midge speak. She doesn't want to be glorified ~ she understands that she is part of a team and it's the team effort that pulls this organization up to the level that it is now. What damage is being done to that team now? Who will repair that damage? Who will suffer? The voiceless animals as one blogger put it. You're right ! Why administrative leave? At the budget level that the LHS has don't they have an auditor? Reading between the lines ~ this is a power struggle. Unfortunately, the board of directors is allowing this to injure the very thing they were to oversee and protect ~ the animals. It is shameful that someone's personal agenda is getting in the way of the greater good. Shameful that 15 years of service is negated for " personnel matters". Where will these board members be in 15 years? I'll bet not at the LHS ~ however if they are allowed to continue this thread the damage that they will do to this organization may be there. The rest of the board needs to look at the big picture ~ what LHS has become, what it will be and where it's going.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

What is it you just don't understand about personnel issues? If they go into exec session, it will be regarding something such as a personnel issue. PERSONNEL ISSUES ARE NOT DISCUSSED IN OPEN MEETINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, if a group of you get up to harass the board about a personnel issue, you will be shut down.

Unreal 5 years, 6 months ago

Fixed_Asset, you can stomp your feet all you want in cyberspace with all your exclamation points saying this is a "personnel issue", but that doesn't change the fact that this community respects Midge immensely, and they will not be silenced on this issue and will do everything they can to get Midge back to doing what she does best -- running our shelter. These four women (Bobbie, Denise, Megan & Sue) should be ashamed of themselves for trying to get Midge fired. What is happening is wrong, and the people in this community that know Midge, know she should not be fired. The truth will continue to come out, so stay tuned.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Unreal - not foot stomping at all - frustration maybe due to the lack of understanding made evident by comments in the blog. The board is not being "closed-mouthed", it is a personnel issue and is dealt with differently than a budget, for instance. I have no argument with the wonderful job Midge has done, however, as I said in the other blog - unless you are Midge or the board you don't really know what is transpiring - you can only speculate based on incomplete evidence.

Unreal 5 years, 6 months ago

I think people in this community have more information than you think . . . . it's a small town and stuff like this doesn't stay quiet for long.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe some people have more information...but we aren't hearing from them, now are we?

We're not hearing any facts. What we're hearing are plenty of rumors and personal opinions.

Like it or not, this is a personnel issue, and it's very good that we're not hearing from anyone directly involved.

So let's not proclaim anyone guilty of anything before we find out the facts, OK?

Unreal 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm moving over my comments from the 11/10 blog to this current one so folks know what's going on: I hope everyone who knows what an amazing job Midge has done at the shelter, will call and/or e-mail all the board members asap! They need to know the citizens of Lawrence will absolutely not tolerate a few petty women (Bobbie, Denise, Megan & Sue) going on a witch hunt to remove Midge from her position. This kind of ridiculous, petty women's crap has no place in a situation where the welfare of animals' lives are at stake. Midge is the reason the city of Lawrence has such an amazing animal shelter with an extremely low euthanasia rate and a very high adoption rate. Other shelters around our state call on Midge for her advise and assistance in making their shelters like ours. That says a lot about Midge and how she runs things. If these petty, selfish women are successful in ousting Midge from her position, they are going to have an entire community that will be pi**ed off big time! Get over your silly issues women, and let Midge get back to work doing what she does best -- taking care of the discarded animals in our city and state!

Alceste 5 years, 6 months ago

Your remarks are really quite amusing! "They need to know the citizens of Lawrence will absolutely not tolerate a few petty women (Bobbie, Denise, Megan & Sue) going on a witch hunt to remove Midge from her position. This kind of ridiculous, petty women's crap has no place.....". Amazing! Lawrence is filled to the brim with "...a few petty women...." who control child protective service matters, CASA, United Way, etc., etc., etc. The women you make mention of are only following their lead! Funny Stuff!!

Gene Ramp 5 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone know what sparked this? I can't believe she could have done anything so bad as to reverse many years of stellar performance...

Unreal 5 years, 6 months ago

Ramp, she didn't. That's what I think people are trying to say here, and on the other blog from Wednesday. Anyone that knows Midge and knows how amazing our shelter is, would have to know this is a witch hunt by a few other women. And I guess most of it boils down to a timecard discrepancy issue, which there is NO reason something like that can't be worked out. Termination seems a bit extreme for someone who has given many years of her life to transforming our shelter into what it is today. That shelter is Midge's life and she absolutely does not deserve what is happening to her. It's quite disgusting actually . . . .

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

You are welcome. I expect to see many of you at Tuesday evening's meeting. Please wear a t-shirt with you on-line name to make it easier for me to spot you. :)

Fixed, I'm not sure why you think people don't understand how this meeting works, or that the group of supporters and concerned citizens will act inappropriately, there has been no indication of either from what I've noted.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

What will the group do when they are not allowed to speak?

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I have already spoken.m I wrote a letter.

irvan moore 5 years, 6 months ago

Midge is the humane society here, we would suffer a great loss to the shelter if we lose her, hopefully cooler heads will prevail and they will rethink their position.

Cassie Finch 5 years, 6 months ago

This is ridiculous! Midge is a great person and does not deserve this. I was outraged to hear that Midge was on leave

Gene Ramp 5 years, 6 months ago

Surely, it has to be more than cattiness...

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Ahh, chin up young fella. Things will work out okay. If nothing else, good ole Roe will adopt you!

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes and that there is the bottom line.

ilovelucy 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks RoeD, that was excellent. I for one can't even imagine the HS without Midge. She IS the Humane Society, plain and simple. Instead of placing her on leave, the Board should be working WITH her through these differences.

bastet 5 years, 6 months ago

Don't know what the deal is, but I hope it blows over and Midge is back on the job. None of us can really know what happens in the workplace unless we are there, but all public evidence suggests that this is a good woman who does fine work in a very difficult position. I have thought often about how lucky this community is to have such a good Humane Society. Many communities have little more than the local dog catcher. Let's hope all of this nonsense goes away soon.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

I have had multiple experiences with the LHS in the years I have lived here. My family has adopted animals there, I have made donations to the shelter, taken my (older) kids to the shelter to just spend time with the animals so they get human contact and when the end came for one of my beloved pets they provided cremation services to me. This is an excellent, well run facility that has a mission of animal rescue and humane placement first and foremost. Midge has been responsible for all of this. Hopefully, whatever the confusion or problem the board has with her they will be calm and cool enough to weigh all of the data and evidence, including the fact that this woman has given years of exemplary service, and weigh the consequences of their decision and the ultimate impact it has on the facility and the local Society as a whole.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm jotting this down in my planner: Cait and i agreed today/

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Well stated, Cait.

I have to note that there have been nothing but positive statements made about Midge. Even by the two people who don't think the blog topic is appropriate.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Midge doesn't read forums but, if she did she would be in tears right now.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Of joy I'm hoping. It sounds as though she's had more than her share of grief recently. Maybe those little furry bodies she's watched over all these years are gazing down from above with their soulful, gentle eyes and assisting things along.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I am sure there are a few. Some of them I knew personally. I included those examples in my letter to the board members.

camper 5 years, 6 months ago

It seems that Midge has put her life's work into the shelter. It would be an injustice if this leave is unwarranted and/or based on some petty misunderstanding or something like that. Whatever the misunderstanding (if it existed), it would seem that this could have been communicated in a meeting, talked through, and resolved....with cool heads prevailing. It does not appear that that happended.

Melinda Black 5 years, 6 months ago

Someone posted the email addresses of board members in the other blog. Seems appropriate to re-post here.

Officers

Megan Hiebert, President Clinton Lake Marina MeganH@lawrencehumane.org

Sue Hack, Vice President Lawrence Chamber of Commerce SueH@lawrencehumane.org

Denise Van Sickel, Secretary Lawrence Pet Friends, LLC DeniseV@lawrencehumane.org

Directors

Sara Dawson Willis of Greater Kansas SaraD@lawrencehumane.org

Charles Derby Central National Bank CharlesD@lawrencehumane.org

Cedric Devin Christal Canine CedricD@lawrencehumane.org

M. Courtney Gibbs, DVM Bradley Animal Hopsital CourtneyG@lawrencehumane.org

Julie Lintecum JulieL@lawrencehumane.org

Joan Noller JoanN@lawrencehumane.org

Emily Peterson Callahan Creek EmilyP@lawrencehumane.org

Bobbie Pray Editor/Publisher BobbieP@lawrencehumane.org

Debbie Smith Insurance Sales DebbieS@lawrencehumane.org

Susan Stuever Health Care Access SusanS@lawrencehumane.org

Mike Treanor Treanor Architects MikeT@lawrencehumane.org

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

I have known Midge for years, and the shelter would NOT be where it is today if it wasnt for her. Im trying to figure out exactly what the board does. Midge raises the money for the shelter, Midge goes to the animal abuse calls, Midge is the one that got the Animal Abuse Law passed for the state of Kansas. So exactly what does this so called board of directors do? How on earth can they try and get rid of the person that has accomplisehed all of this and more? When another town or state has a disaster it was and is Midge who responds to help the animals. She has been threatened by those that abuse animals, yet she continues to do this stressful job. I have NEVER heard her complain about her job, she loves it. I doubt most people would last a week doing her job. I hope the community comes out and supports her, if not then it doesnt say much for this city we call home. And if this so called board of directors decides to hide behind close doors and not let the community voice its opinion on this matter, then I think its time to find a new board of directors. And as you see I will not hide who I am. I want the board to know who stands not only behind her but beside her.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, there are many dogs and cats there, too. Do they still have an occasional rabbit? :)

kernal 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes. Also, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats and even a turtle recently.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

It's been some time since I've done a walk through of 'the HS. I'm sure they have quite an assorted variety of animals. Do they ever get a wayward reptile? I've seen shows and read articles about pythons and littie gators, etc. taking over some areas - Florida comes to mind.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

It has many people working there. You won't see their opinions about this situation though, for fear of losing their jobs.

Michelle Derusseau 5 years, 6 months ago

Toe, it is more than just one person but the Lawrence Humane Society has made great strides and become one of the best in the country under Midge's leadership. She can't do it without the wonderful volunteers that work tirelessly for the animals in need but they also can't do what they do without her.
These posts only begin to touch on the things that our humane society has accomplished because of Midge's endless and selfless efforts. I can tell you from my experience working with the humane society and Midge that there isn't anyone else at this time that has the experience, heart, clout, support and connections that Midge does. Our board better think good and hard about their decision. The lives of many animals are at risk. If egos and personalities are at issue here, they need to get over themselves and remember their responsibility is to the animals.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

After reading blog posts from the other thread I'm getting the idea that this is a political move by a current board member to replace Midge and take her job. These are hard economic times but to pull such an action is unethical and if the board member who is doing this succeeds then I think they should remember that it's pretty certain a board shake up will occur. Ultimately this is a small town, despite the thousands of people the college adds to it annually. The people that live here year after year will not tolerate this action. If the person attempting to take Midge's job succeeds, they should understand that if they cannot come through with her same level of fund raising, networking across states and administration finesse on a tight budget (which is highly doubtful) than their own replacement is almost assured. Is it truly worth it to destroy someone else's life for a job that will be temporary at best? Not to mention the fact that the board, knowing full well what has happened, will not trust the new administrator. Most important will be the impact on the shelter itself and the Society as a whole. People will be disgusted, fund raising will go down (in an already tight economy where donations have already gone down, I'm sure). Who will suffer? The dogs, cats, bunnies and other animals who depend on the shelter for their very lives. I really urge the board to consider this and how counter productive this all is. If they cannot see how counter intuitive this is than they don't belong on that board.

H_Lecter 5 years, 6 months ago

I was more than satisfied with the cremation service they offer.

I think grandma would have been also.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone suppose this matter has something to do with the "too many dogs" issue that recently surfaced?

Who was behind that and who does that person know? Was this back door politics?

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

No Merrill I don't. The shelter is almost always at full capacity and beyond. That is the plight of human beings being involved. Take the adorable puppy. Someone gets one then he starts chewing and growing and pooping. Suddently that sweet little bundle of hair is difficult to manage and has become clifford the big red dog. What does the human do? They take the dog to the shelter and say ;"I'm sorry I just didn't know he would get this big", "I'm sorry I just didn't think he would take this much time". So there he is waiting for someone who has a clue and a open heart that is willing to pick up the pieces. These things take time, so many dogs have to wait and hope. Even those who adopt from the shelter waiver at times. I have seen Robin tell people when they sign the agreement " remember if you can't keep this dog you will need to bring him back here" Yet any day of the week you can go on the Lawrence craigslist and see a ad stating" I adopted this dog from the shelter, but now I just don't have the time" or " I adopted this dog from the shelter but then I had a baby and the dog gets to excited" Only when human beings understand that a pet is a lifetime commitment will out shelter populations decrease.

brujablanco 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh ....so....tempting........

Nah

Will

let

sleeping

dogs

lie.....................................................

dogsandcats 5 years, 6 months ago

A friend of mine works at the shelter and the allegation that Midge forces her employees to work for free is very much true. Sometimes as much as two hours a day. I don't know if she needs to be fired because of it, but something needs to be done, and it's been a long time coming.

disgustedagain 5 years, 6 months ago

If true, this is of course not ok. Nevertheless, it's an issue that could be fixed by new policies not by firing a director. No doubt the shelter relies on so much volunteer time that the line between paid and non-paid time is problematic. Possibly many people work free time because they are dedicated to helping the animals.

plantlover_61 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe your friends should get their work done during their regular shift instead of taking smoke breaks every two hours or working hard at looking busy. Anyway how do you know it is Midge and not someone else it is possible that Midge does not know everything that goes on at the Humane Society. The people who work their do what they want when they want too. There are very few people at the shelter that can be trusted most of the time they would rather stab a person in the back or talk smack on them then turn around and they are their best friend in another breath. What a crazy place to work everyone should be fired including the so called board of directors.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I have news for you many employers have expectations like that. I have been required to attend open houses,and other events on my time for the sake of PR. In these times a little gratitude may be in order, Your friend should appriciate the fact they have a job. In case you haven't heard we are in a recession.

dogsandcats 5 years, 6 months ago

My friend is grateful for having a job. However, being forced to clock out then go clean up animal feces is not the same as voluntarily attending a PR event.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

When a person works for a nonprofit they can expect a little more work. I doubt there is any proof that anything is forced. I also doubt Midge has threatened anyone.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 6 months ago

What an amazing comment!

No...when a person works for a nonprofit, they do NOT have to "expect a little more work". And they certainly don't have to expect it if that work is required and unpaid.

Sure, there's usually more work to be done. But why should a paid hourly job at a nonprofit be handled any differently than a paid hourly job at a for-profit business? Labor laws are designed to legitimately protect hourly workers from being required to work for free.

As far as "proof" that anything is forced? Well, you'd be surprised at what some companies have written down. And, apparently, you'd be surprised at what constitutes proof.

As far as threats go...there are many types of very effective threats. And they don't have to specifically include the words "if you don't work an extra hour for free, I'll fire you".

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

Hell, I wish my employer and every previous employer didn't expect me to work extra for nothing. Guess what? That's what almost every employer expects, unless you flip burgers for Micky D's. My job is supposed to be 40 full time hours per week. I usually have to put in 45-50. If I didn't, I wouldn't have a job and there are hundreds if not thousands of happy people that will gladly do it if I refuse.

You don't take a job at the shelter for the money. You either love the animals and do what ever it takes to keep the place open or you leave. Your friends don't like it, they need to leave. There are many of us that volunteer up there for nothing, after already working our 50 hrs a week.

Midge is the best thing to happen to that shelter and only those that were here before she came seem to understand this.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

If you are on salary, the Federal rules are different. If you are an hourly employee who is being required to work off the clock, you might want to look into filing a complaint with the appropriate Federal agency.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure most employees are grateful to be employed, choke, however you are forgetting one tiny little fact. It is against the Fair Labor Standards Act to force an hourly employee to work without pay. Keep ignoring the rules, I will be at the meeting watching you yet again look foolish.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

You forget Kansas is a at will State, but even with that there has to be substainsial proof anything has been forced. This allegation hasn't even been verified that is is a issue at hand here. Now who is jumping to conclusions and making commnets on personel issues? That is private don't you know?

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Please tell me what Kansas being an employment at will state has to do with a prohibited practice? No conclusion jumping here, oh expert deliberator, YOU said it was ok to work without pay - you even stated a school district required you to do so. My facts were meant for you. I have no idea what has been going on at the LHS and neither do you.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I never mentioned a employer you must be in lala land agian.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Gosh, where is this lala land you speak of artichoke? You have posted in the past of your employment with a school district. Please forgive me!! I would not want to shed a bad light on you at all. I do dislike hypocracy immensly as well as those that would pretend to support a cause for one's own edification. It is sickening and does not help the cause and I reserve the right to expose it - if that includes you, so be it. Now would you care to explain to me how Kansas being an at will employment state affects a prohibited practice governed by labor laws? Hmmmm?

damnitimpissed 5 years, 6 months ago

Fixed_Asset has already pointed out the errors, but for the sake of stamping out blatant misinformation shamelessly spread by certain tasteless vegetables...

A grossly oversimplified definition of "at will", which has nothing to do with this whatsoever:

"Kansas is an 'employment at will' state, which means your employer can fire you for any non-discriminatory and/or non-retaliatory reason. " http://www.dol.ks.gov/ES/faq_laws.html

Not only "forced" unpaid labor is illegal, but ANY unpaid labor:

"Work not requested but 'suffered or permitted' to be performed is work time that must be paid for by the employer. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift to finish an assigned task or to correct errors. The reason is immaterial. The hours are work time and are compensable." http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.htm

"An employer cannot sit back and accept the benefits of an employee’s work without considering the time spent to be hours worked. Merely making a rule against such work is not enough. The employer has the power to enforce the rule and must make every effort to do so. Employees generally may not volunteer to perform work without the employer having to count the time as hours worked." http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/hoursworked/screen1d.asp

And that concludes today's basic employment law session. Next time, RTFFLSA before trying to defend your cause.

dogsandcats 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes, they had the choice, do it or be out of a job.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

That is how it is in the world of work. Do it or go.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

That is how the world works when people are allowed to break the law. Forcing somebody to work off the clock with threat of termination is illegal.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I have not seen any proof that such a allegation is true. I doubt it is.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

I bet you haven't seen any proof. You aren't on the board, you don't work there, and the decision making process has nothing to do with you. I highly doubt that employees are knocking on your door telling you their grievances since you have nothing to do with it.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't believe you. I know enough people that work there and they have only good things to say about Midge.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

What is it you don't believe exactly? That the staff aren't knocking on your door to air their grievances?

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 6 months ago

You may be right...about the workers at the Lawrence humane society.

But, in the "world of work"...at least in this country...it's illegal to require hourly workers to work for no pay. It's also illegal to make them salaried, then require them to work a number of hours that results in their earning less than minimum wage.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

well then if its ILLEGAL to make a salaried employee work more then they should look at Midges hours. I doubt she would come close to making min wage.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 6 months ago

Not quite. It's illegal to make them salaried to get around paying them minimum wage (a slightly different thing, but the difference is significant). You also may not place two- or three-persons worth of work on a salaried individual to get around hiring several employees. And you may not treat a salaried employee as hourly (i.e., make them take their vacation in 15 minute segments, dock them for being five minutes late, etc.).

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

I doubt this is the reason for her suspension, however, had she even asked them to work without pay it is not allowed by law

damnitimpissed 5 years, 6 months ago

Wrong. All hours worked are payable.

"Covered employees must be paid for all hours worked in a workweek. In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal activity of the work day to the end of the last principal work activity of the workday. Also included is any additional time the employee is allowed (i.e., suffered or permitted) to work."

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/hrg.htm

"The FLSA defines the term "employ" to include the words "suffer or permit to work". Suffer or permit to work means that if an employer requires or allows employees to work, the time spent is generally hours worked. Thus, time spent doing work not requested by the employer, but still allowed, is generally hours worked, since the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employees are continuing to work and the employer is benefiting from the work being done. This time is commonly referred to as 'working off the clock.'"

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/hoursworked/screen1d.asp

Stop spreading misinformation.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, DIIP:

All real legal information falls on deaf ears where the vegetable is concerned. She likes her own set of rules and loves spreading misinformation and then when questioned, accuses other of stalking. I think it makes her feel validated in some way. Who knows.

disgustedagain 5 years, 6 months ago

Just sent emails in support of Midge G. to all the board members and officers. Since most of the emails are c/o of the shelter, I hope they get through. Also sent this info on to my sister who knows half the town it seems like. I hope she passes it on. I will be at the meeting.

Thanks Ronda and and all posters for the info. Please keep us posted on the board meeting and any plans for a show of public support.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

The meeting is 6pm pn Tureday the 16th. I don't know if the board will allow anyone to speak but a visible show of support is better than doing nothing. nI wrote ib care of the shelter too but assume the members will get these.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry that should read 6pm Tuesday the 16th.

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 6 months ago

These accusations about employees being forced to work "free" hours are not only absolutely false, they just plain don't make sense. First off, to what end would a boss heap this mistreatment on their employees when for years the Humane Society has notoriously been understaffed and hard to keep staffed....Amazingly enough, people aren't exactly lining up to scoop feces and deal with the heartbreak of taking care of sick, hurt, and abandoned animals day after day. If you can't get enough people to apply, you probably wouldn't be mistreating employees. NOBODY would keep a job when expected to do this. God bless the employees of the Humane Society because I wouldn't do it for any amount. You expect us to believe that people complied with this request at a job where you scoop crap and don't get paid much money.....Hogwash. Second...Midge has been there 15 years. Where are all the ex-employees echoing these sentiments. Shouldn't people who had been forced to work for free have been complaining before this point? Do you honestly expect us to believe that Midge in some completely out of character, mad-scientist-like move just decided to blatantly turn the Humane Society into a sweat shop? To anyone who has even been loosely affiliated with the Humane Society or Midge this is ridiculous on so many levels. In fact it reeks of a desperate board member trying in vain to turn public opinion in their favor......Midge has many friends, not just in Lawrence, but around the region, and they all know that these are blatant lies.....You will lose.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 6 months ago

Does the LHS work under the city or county. I have no idea if the working for free happened, but it sure would open someone up to lawsuits and fines. Again, I have nothing to do with anything there, but that has to be a terrible job running a place like that.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Both also the state as well as grants from HSUS, the private sector and fund raising.

topekadogdad 5 years, 6 months ago

Most of this just does not stand a reasonableness test and defies common sense and logic. In the first place to think these employees who are not highly paid to begin with are just going to sit back and subject themselves to being forced to work for free is ludicrous. If so, shame on both them and Midge. Shame on Midge for not following FLSA regulations and shame on the employees for not reporting the violation. Through my years of managing staff I have found that almost always the issue receiving attention is not really the problem but rather a convenient allegation that is used to get back at a boss or supervisor they have had a disagreement with and many times that disagreement is nothing more than the supervisor wanting the employee to perform their job. Having said that; give the employees the benefit of the doubt and have these allegations looked at but while it is possible there have been violations that would warrant dismissal it's doubtful. The acute way in which this whole thing came about is pretty suspicious. Perhaps there are a few employees and Board members putting their own personal needs and agenda ahead of the animals. Midge has received local, state, and national recognition for her tireless work on behalf of animals. There is nobody performing any job who is irreplaceable, but the consequences of losing an employee sometimes can manifest into something that takes a long time to repair. The loss to the shelter and ultimately the animal welfare community will be felt for a very long time if Midge is fired or quits over this. This has reached a point where either Midge will need to leave either voluntarily or be terminated or absent solid proof of the allegations, any Board members who have initiated this should immediately resign and along with the Board members, any employees who misrepresented any facts to the Board should resign as well since it is clear their presence is not in the best interest of the animals. Ultimately this is about the animals since they are the ultimate victims and do not deserve any of this.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Your comments are well thought out and appreciated, Topeka. As we know, much is speculation on our part - at least mine. It sounds as though a lot of emotion is coming into play at this point; and that isn't necessarily a negative although it seems our society dictates that it is not the best way to make decisions.

A person or two have asked how 'we're' going to behave as a group Tuesday evening - I'd state that I'm not part of a group. I'm an interested individual who isn't making assumptions about anything but I am hopeful the topic will be openly discussed and public input be allowed.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

It is true most of us do not know the exact details in the current situation. However the idea that a least one board member may be a little over the top is believable to me because I had a conversation with a LHS employee months ago about a certain board member throwing a hissy over the ways towels were folded on the shelf. Ok I get the towel thing to a point as I do have a towel folding system myself, but at that time a emloyee was told they had to refold the towels right then so the board member could see it was completed correctly before leaving. As a result the employee had to stop cleaning kennels to complete the task. At the time I really didn' think much about it but if some board members are coing in to dictate on a regular basis that could be considered divisive.

Just a FYI: I heard Casey had given notice. She's been the lead investigaor for animal cruelty for about a year. That sparks a little concern with me. It is my understanding that if Midge were to leave it would be Casey who would be next in line for the job. The woman who held that position previously left to work for the state but had been there for quite some time. In fact most of the core employees of the shelter have been there for a long time.

topekadogdad 5 years, 6 months ago

I have been in animal welfare in various capacities for many years in NE Kansas and one of the things that makes me want to throw up is how different segments of the animal welfare community will systematically set out to destroy others they disagree with or have some petty difference over rather than keeping their focus on the animals. Many times people act like this is some sort of competition and of course everybody thinks their idea is the best, etc. when in fact any idea that saves an animal or gives the animals more opportunity is an idea worth considering. Vets fight over pediatric spay/neuter when it seems clearly the benefits far outweigh the risks. Rescue/shelter/animal welfare people fight over No Kill, etc. and it generally comes at a cost to the animals since people are wasting time that could be better spent saving animals or raising money to save animals or going out and gathering much needed supplies shelters and rescues are constantly in need of. How those comments relate to the situation with Midge is this situation with her seems to be a rare exception to the norm. For once it appears the animal welfare community has set aside those differences (at least temporarily) and expressed nearly uniform support of Midge. We need to all keep this support in mind as we move forward and realize we all can be much more effective when we try to be supportive rather than set out to divide. Sure we will have differences from time to time, but let the unity shown here be an example to live and work by. I have heard for some weeks now there are a few women on the board who think highly of themselves and have been after Midge for whatever reason. I am still inclined to think these women along with three or so disgruntled employees are the catalyst for this and should be ashamed of themselves, but people like that generally are not ashamed and instead will dig their heels in while the damage from their actions continues to pile up leaving me to question just how committed they are to the cause they are supposedly trying to help. As I said before though; let's not totally close our minds to the fact they may indeed have some information we are not aware of. If so the community conscience will I believe fairly look at that information and decide if it rises to a level that warrants suspension and termination or excuses the damage that has already occurred and the the damage that will continue to occur in lost donations, goodwill. volunteerism, and unadopted pets. No matter how this is resolved there is no disputing the value Midge has added through the years and we all owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her work on behalf of the animals.

danlowery 5 years, 6 months ago

Well said. I have served on the board as treasurer for the Humane Society of Atchison and Midge gave us help on some issues we were having at the shelter. We were very greatful, and appreciated her invitation to have some of our staff come to Lawrence for additional training. I have attended the National Humane Society kennel tech training course in Texas and can say the Lawrence operation is first class. This can only happen with the right leadership. I am also an employer and appreciate the need for discretion in personnel matters. I would ask three questions of the board. Did you notify Midge of any problems? Did you offer guide lines or corrective action? Did you give her an oppertunity to remedy the problem and follow up with her? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then you have not carried out your duties and responsibilities of the board and to the shelter. Believe me , I know first hand the personality conflicts that can arise on any non profit board but please consider that Midge has been there 10 or more years. A board member will be gone in a year or two, but your actions will be felt for years to come.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad to hear that you are an interested individual, Ronda, however, by blogging you have become a part of that small group. I was not implying in any way that this group would suddenly become violent or do something inappropriate at all. I was thinking more along the lines of what else can be done if the public isn't heard at the meeting. I would hope you would certainly go to the board meeting and show your support, however, I would also hope you would put those individual talents to work to help the animals and the shelter. Those types of "interests" do not need to be advertised.

Unreal 5 years, 6 months ago

Cait48: After reading blog posts from the other thread I'm getting the idea that this is a political move by a current board member to replace Midge and take her job.

Bingo!!! Someone definitely wants Midge's job and is willing to ruin Midge's reputation and get her fired just to get her job. Disgusting to say the least. I wonder if this woman realizes how much Midge means to this community? And how those of us who know what a farse all of this is, will go to bat for Midge and keep exposing the truth about what is really going on?

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

If they've read the comments, they're getting a fair idea of how well thought of she is! :)

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if people realize that the Shelter is givin a budget each year. And at least during one of those years her budget was cut part way into that year. The Shelter relies on the fund raising that Midge does. Comments have been made about people having to be made to work free hours. Now that just makes me laugh. First off those that work there go in knowing this is not a job that is going to make them rich. Midge and her husband work long hours without pay. They use money out of their own pocket for things when money gets thin at the shelter. Think about how many unwanted animals are there because of humans that have no business being an animals parents. I work everyday with dogs and I actually tell the dogs how lucky they are that they have good loving homes. Lots of the animals I take care of are shelter animals from the Lawrence Humane Society. These people that have adopted from there have nothing but wonderful things to say about Midge. I have called Midge numerous times about animals in stress and what I should do. She has never hesitated to offer help even after the long hours she has put in at the Shelter. And after reading more about all of this I agree that there are a few that seem to want her job, which I seriously doubt they could ever handle. The first time that their lives are threatened they will put their tail between their legs and head for the hills. This is a thankless job she does. Where is the so called board when the shelter has run out of money? Are they out there pounding the street collecting money? I highly doubt they are. My mother in law Carol Church was very active in helping out the shelter. Those that know her know that she would NEVER have been involved there if there was ever any wrong doing. If the board succeeds in this witch hunt I can assure you that donations will drop. I have talked to lots of people and they say if Midge goes so does their monthly donations. Funny our society says everyone is innocent until provin guilty. Seems the board has forgotten this. I think we as a community need to stand up and be heard and maybe we should also be thinking about voting in a brand new board of directors. Directors that will step up and actually help Midge and the shelter continue to save the unwanted, abused, and discarded animals. As I stated before if we the community stand by and do nothing about this then this isnt the place that I want to call home.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

I think Midge deserved the break before her returning to her position as director, labor, coordinator, manager and official staff mom. Like Cesar whathisnname, she works with animals and trains people.

The animals are going to do whatever it is that animals do but Midge's greater job is dealing with people, more specifically, the staff, volunteers and community service workers. If the staff that complains about doing extra work thinks that things are ruff (teehee) under Midge now, I can;t help but wonder what they think is going to improve if she is ousted!!

If midge were removed, the staff people who whine about doing extra animal care will see their volunteer hours DOUBLE or even TRIPLE if they want to see the level of animal care that Midge demands today. Of course, with her removal, the only ones who will suffer will be the voiceless animals!! The whiners will lower the level of animal care and the animals will suffer for it.

Lemme say that again: The only one who will suffer from Midge's removal will be the voiceless animals!! Not the staff that are entrusted and presumably dedicated to those same animals, but the animals themselves, the ones that the whining staff claims to be guardians and care takers toward.

The animal care industry is full of incredible egos (So is Assisted Living, but that's another story). The reason is because the animals are at the mercy of their caretakers who are generally un-educated and transient but have found themselves empowered over captive animals who are unable to voice their opinions and concerns over their own care. The workers are able to make decisions over another living being while in the "real" world they are unqualified for much of anything. These are the people that Midge has to deal with on a daily basis and these are most likely the ones who are complaining the most and are protesting about giving the level of care that they are untrusted with in the first place. They are only demonstrating their own lack of ability and I wonder what the animals would have to say. Unfortunately, they can;t talk and the whining staff members are counting on the fact.

Playing with cuddly puppies and exercising new skills, like administrating vaccines and medication, are funfunfun, but can only be effective after the poop is removed and the dishes and laundry are put away. That is where the whiners are missing their own point. Animal care is not about funfunfun, it is about hard work, dirty and wet and that is the bottom line. Watch Animal Planet of you and live vicariously if you want to have funfunfun. The real world is at the shelter and demands a shovel and a tetanus shot.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Geekin, stated like someone in the know when it comes to the ongoing difficult job of caring for animals. Their care is 24/7, just like infants, who need constant care, love, cleaning. Thank you!

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

Sounds to me like you are the one with the big ego. You don't have any platform to belittle the staff members of the humane society. Just to put things in perspective for you, these people you claim are unqualified for much of anything in the real world, they do care for the animals, and they wouldn't have their job if they weren't trusted to care for the animals. LHS is understaffed, and the you could easily get paid more flipping burgers than working at the LHS. If Midge is forcing people to work "volunteer hours" it is illegal. If more hours per day are needed to get the job done they need to get more workers. Demanding people work for free is a breach of human rights. I doubt that the workers are complaining about scooping up poop, it is in the job description. Breaking the law and violating the rights of the worker is a problem and something to complain about. You wouldn't demand people work "volunteer hours" at a pizza shop or gas station would you? Anybody that makes hourly wages shouldn't have to work hours for free at threat of termination.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

Agreed absolutely. (All except the ego part. I am as humble as a saint)

There are many parts of the humane society that I disagree with. The lengthy adoption process is one of them. I have seen perfectly healthy A-O X3 animals take ill and die during the excessive waiting period which is designed to do nothing else than satisfy the human ego. What would you suppose the animal's view on the matter would be? Impossible to tell right? Thus, a human need, not the animal's, is satisfied.

Secondly, I do not agree with the forced compensation free OT (if it is real) but I do believe in the "can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" rule. Animal care is never ending and not for the lazy or incompetent. I have seen employees wait for other workers to finish their remedial tasks and then go and claim their hard work (clean dishes and laundry) as their own, leaving the worker who cleaned them with a pile of dirty.

Thirdly, there are people who just simply don't belong in the animal care business. The ones just described being one of them. However, there are plenty others in the business who should be hanging circus posters and juggling for a living (their true talents), rather than caring for livestock. Unfortunately, the loudest get the grease and therefore, animals lose and the loudmouths won.

And last and least popular, I believe that the extremely low intake to euthanasia ratio should be changed. WHile it may not be pet-friendly to use euthanasia for space purposes, there comes a time when keeping an animal is less humane. Speculation plays a large part of the argument when the subject is brought up and while it may be true, that a certain dog may save a life, or a companion cat may save a suicidal shut-in, the reality is, space is limited and that is a fact of life. As long as LHS insists on playing the art of mother nature, they should take the bad with the good instead of trying to ignore the role.

If you think that your chores are done in animal care, it is because you forgot something crucial. That is the tail (heehee)of animal care.

Maybe Midge erred, that is a huge part of being human. Firing her would not relive her of the God given possession of her talents. Let her be human for a while and then, let the animals be the victors and leave Midge in a charge.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

So, you don't agree with people being forced to work without pay, but you think that even if Midge has been forcing people to work without pay and has been directly violating human rights it is OK and she should keep doing what she is doing? Where is the logic in that?

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

Where have the "violation of human rights" taken place?

They walked in the door on their own free-will. Filled out a form seeking employment, without threat or enticement. Hired without regard to race, age,sex or creed. Are free to walk out the door with no questions asked. Where are the human rights violations? Do you even know what your grievances are? It would add much credibility if you figured that out first.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

Seems the only alligations are coming from a few people that are there now. There have been lots of workers come thru there because it isnt an easy job. If this is something that had been going on dont you think someone would have said something? But seems intimidation is what is at work here and its not by Midge. I bet you if you ask these same people to take a lie detector test they would either say no or they would fail it.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe they run through so many workers because they expect people to work for free?

danlowery 5 years, 6 months ago

"Being forced to work with out pay"! Were they locked in cages at night? How long did this abuse go on? If it happened for more than a day, I would question this persons intelligence and truthfulness.

Grammaton 5 years, 6 months ago

The accusations that employees have been forced to work off the clock (and by forced, I mean threatened with their jobs if they did not comply) are NOT false. I know two people (one of whom very, very well and have no reason to disbelieve him) who have worked at the Humane Society and have heard numerous stories about this behavior -- often it was being discussed when I approached them after they had gotten off work for the day after working unpaid hours. I'm aware of Midge's contributions, but I've not heard a single current or former Humane Society employee say anything good about her (yet).

moveover 5 years, 6 months ago

If you haven't heard one current or former employee say anything good about Midge then let me be the first. I worked at the shelter for several years and spent a LOT of time scooping poop. Let me start with saying I have the an incredibly amount of respect for Midge but I am not surprised by the accusations against her. Why? Because several employees (trust me I know I've worked with all of them at one point) would rather hang out at the front desk or take smoke breaks out back then actually get down and dirty and work. This has been a consistent problem and is why I stopped working at the shelter. So, what does a boss do when employees are constantly slacking and undermining you BUT the facility you run is constantly understaffed, overcrowded, and incredibly hard to hire for? You do the best you can. Has she raised her voice before, sure what employer hasn't when people are constantly slacking? Had she ever once told me I needed to clock out and then continue to work, absolutely not. Did I ever clock out and finish my job? Of course! Have I seen other employees do the same? Sure. BUT I have never once EVER seen someone be force, threatened, or it insinuated that they would be fired if they didn't do so. Now ask me how many times Midge was in her office before I arrived to work and still in her office working when I left? More than I can count. Times are tough. People need to remember this is a non profit organization. A lot of people are not donating as much as they did before. Sometimes shelter life is hard. Even if these accusations did hold water...which I doubt they do. To treat someone who has donated a decade of her life to the shelter with such disrespect is unforgiveable. Dragging Midge's name through the mud on the words of employees without first talking to her is just bad business. Now one last word on the topic of time card. Do we really think that the director of the shelter really sits down and looks at everyones time card one by one or does it make more sense they she would delegate that task to the office manager and the book keeper?

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

As matter of fact Robin does the time cards. I have seen her do them many times. Which makes sense considering she is a bookkeeper by profession. Midge also does not take vaction like the average person would. Instead she does things like go to New Orleans ro rescue animals. If her husband didn't work there she might never see him. She is there all the time and when she isn't she is still working from home responding to emails and making calls.

moveover 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, she actually does go on vacation every year...but it is true she did take a giant truck load of supplies to New Orleans and was also asked by the Kansas Animal Health Dept. to work at Greensburg after the tornado. Not to mention the fact that she pretty much single handedly organized the DCART -Douglas County Animal Rescue Team (by the way I wonder what will happen to that if she is fired...will she still run it? I couldn't think of another person who would be able to) The point is if we made a pro, con list does anyone really honestly believe the cons are going to out way the good?

Grammaton 5 years, 6 months ago

Hey, I have nothing against her personally. Just reporting what I've heard.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

Which is hearsay and you look like an *ss for just repeating rumors. If you aren't involved first hand, you shouldn't be spreading RUMORS!

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 6 months ago

Okay.....Conspiracy theorists unite! In order to have a good conspiracy you need a couple things.
1. The people perpetrating the conspiracy must have a reward that equals the risk. The risk of making employees work off-the-clock hours is obvious. The risk is losing their job themselves and major damage to their reputation, so much so, that it would be difficult to procure another job. The reward is.....well......What exactly is the reward of a scheme like this? A lower bottom line? What? The reward does not equal the risk...Not even close....meaning there's no point to act in this manner. It. does. not. make. sense. 2. You have to have the majority of people involved pointing out some questionable activity. In this case a "couple" people making outlandish claims looks a lot more like people with an axe to grind. ...which leads me to: "I know two people (one of whom very, very well and have no reason to disbelieve him) who have worked at the Humane Society and have heard numerous stories about this behavior" Two people out of the hundreds of employees the Humane Society has had in the last 15 years. Again, if this is standard practice, where are all the other disgruntled employees? Furthermore, when you find them, please have them explain the logic of staying at a job where you were asked to do this when you could make more money flipping burgers or tending the counter and those jobs are readily available.

"but I've not heard a single current or former Humane Society employee say anything good about her (yet)."

Apparently you haven't talked to very many of them. I have been around the Humane Society for many years and the only times I have seen an employee with bad things to say about Midge is when the employee is insulted that they are asked to WORK at all. I stand behind my earlier comment: Any claim of an employee of the Humane Society being asked to work for free is absolutely ludicrous and is not logical on multiple levels.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

Hearhear!! I'll drink to that!!

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Any true animal care worker would laugh at these accusations and call each other "fairy" for not being able to hang. A true animal care labor would boast of their achievements and not whine.

Work is the curse of the drinking class.

Ban smoking on the property all together I say.

moveover 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure banning smoking on the property would cause I riot...I'm pretty sure a coup d’état is enough.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually I think they can because the city funds some for operations.

Grammaton 5 years, 6 months ago

No need to take my post personally. I actually don't care at all what happens. As I posted above, just reporting what I had heard in order to contribute to the conversation.

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 6 months ago

grammaton- I mean no offense to you but it's hard to see someone you care about's reputation dragged through the mud with vicious lies in any medium. This is no joke. Like it or not the internet is very powerful and people have been driven to terrible things when their reputation has been sullied on it. Let's not pretend that what we say here does not matter. It most certainly does and people should be prepared to take responsibility for the things they say here.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

Then gram your listening to the wrong "stories". Remember the story about the little girl who cried wolf.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I have not yet gotten confirmation on if the board will or will not take public comments. I was told it is doubtful and that putting concerns in writing would be the best bet. I was also told that they do check the emails. I posted those earlier and I believe someone else has too. If you can't find them go the the Lawrence Humane Society web page and click on about us.

Editorator 5 years, 6 months ago

The LHS is another place that has also done a fine job of providing an outlet for kids sentenced to community service to learn about responsibility and caring for those less fortunate. I know of a few at-risk kids who came around and straightened up thanks to a few hours a week of "volunteer work" at the Shelter.

Midge, you have my support.

drake4488 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

moveover 5 years, 6 months ago

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 6 months ago

drake- More ridiculous, slanderous comments from someone with motive in a sea of people who know how kind and caring Midge is.....shameful.

drake4488 5 years, 6 months ago

Yet, you're full of it. You may know Midge but you certainly don't know her at work or how she has acted while at work. Take my advice from earlier kiddo.

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 6 months ago

By the way, in the many years I have known Midge, I have infuriated her on many occasions and she has never, ever thrown anything at me. Also, in the many years I have known her, I have never, ever seen her berate anybody verbally or otherwise.....Keep lying and digging your holes.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I hear that. I even enrage virtual people( see multiple posts above) and I have never been attacked or had objects hurled at me by Midge. Looks to me like someone didn't get a good evaluation from Midge for community service.

LHSBoard 5 years, 6 months ago

On behalf of the Lawrence Humane Society Board of Directors, I'd like to thank you for your comments on this blog. Your support of the Lawrence Humane Society and the pets we care for is invaluable.

We understand your concern, but a personnel matter has been brought to our attention and it is our responsibility to look into it further. For the benefit of everyone involved, including Midge, we are not discussing the details.

Like you, we value Midge's contributions to the community, the Humane Society and the animal welfare industry. We hope to have the matter resolved in the next few weeks. While we cannot provide any additional details at this time, we will do the best we can to answer any other questions you may have.

Thank you for your support,

Megan Hiebert President, Board of Directors Lawrence Humane Society

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Hey Megan I tried to call you. Could you please call me back? I am not asking you to discuss anything but I would like to provide some information. My number should be on your caller ID at the marina.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

If its true you value her Megan then why the witch hunt? How many of the board members including you do more then sit on the board? Yes you attend the auction and donate some items but do you really go out and try to raise money? Do you put in the long hours like Midge does for the auction and mutt strutt? Do you ever go out on animal cruelty calls where your life might be threatened? Again I seriously doubt that. Im thinking its time for a new board where the members actually get involved in raising money. Does any of the board members shell out money from their own pockets when the money is thin? Again I doubt it, but I do know Midge and Mark do. This is a thankless and stressful job yet Midge does it with no complaints. And I wonder where the rest of the board is on this matter or have they been intimidated by a few and wont do anything. If thats the case again I think a new board of directors is in order. I still find it hard to believe that whatever the complaints by a few were that it warrants this witch hunt. Its actually embarassing to see this. To see how petty a few can be and try to ruin not only Midges rep but ruin the welfare of these discarded animals. You know what they say about karma, and Im sure karma is going to be biting some peoples butts very soon. Maybe if the so called board of directors did a bit more at the shelter they would see that this is just a simple witch hunt and nothing more. Shame on the board for this and shame on those few that are ruining Midges hard work. I think the board should be bending over backwards to help Midge. If we all remember there would be no Animal Cruelty Law in Kansas if it wasn't for Midge. Sad to say but if Midge is fired I really dont see much of a future for the Lawrence Humane Society. It is with Midges hard work and dedication that we have a shelter of this status. And if Midge goes Im sure lots of donations will go as well. So maybe its time the other board members stand up and back Midge instead of sitting quietly and doing nothing, even if that means giving up their board of directors seat. I would respect board members better if they stood behind Midge and gave up their seat then sat and did nothing. I know I will stand with Midge and do whatever is needed to keep her as the Director of the Lawrence Humane Society. Maybe the quote from Edmund Burke fits "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." So lets not just sit and do nothing, lets support Midge and end this and let her get back to what she does best. And that is taking care of the animals.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Another thing to condider is that emplyees who file complaints tend to leave no matter if the administration takes action or not. Overall they are unhappy people who take the first job offer to make a run for it. In the end the pot will have been stirred, the damange done and the board will be far worse off.

disgustedagain 5 years, 6 months ago

Ms. Hiebert, below someone mentioned that Board members are deleting emails written to them regarding Midge Grinstead. I hope this is not true, and as President I hope you will make it clear to the other Board members that deleting emails sent by LHS supporters is highly inappropriate under the circumstances.

I will print out my letter of support for Midge and hand deliver it to the Board at the meeting. That way it will be on the record even if not taking public comments.

It is certainly understandable that a personnel issue requires a level of discretion and confidentiality rules must be observed. I hope, however, that a LHS report on this matter will be available to Lawrence Humane Society members after the fact.

Thank you for responding to our concerns.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Ms Heibert,

Thank you for your response. Is the board meeting Tuesday evening closed to the public?

If my memory serves correctly, there may not be a large area for meeting on a larger scale.

Thank you in advance for your response. We do have an outpouring of support for the continued success of the Humane Society and your heartfelt time and effort served as Board Members is greatly appreciated.

Ronda Miller

LHSBoard 5 years, 6 months ago

Ms. Miller,

The Board meeting is open to the public and the agenda allows time at the very beginning of the meeting for public comments. We welcome anyone to come to the Humane Society at 6:00pm on Tuesday to share thoughts or concerns. You are correct that there is limited space at the shelter, however, we will do everything we can to accommodate public attendance.

We look forward to the comments. However, as I mentioned in my earlier post, we will not be answering any questions regarding the personnel issue because it is confidential.

Megan Hiebert President, Board of Directors Lawrence Humane Society

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, Ms Hiebert,

Does the board expect to reach a decision in reference to the HS director at that meeting?

I'd expect a large turnout of interested, and extremely polite, members of the community.

Remind me to never sit on a board. :)

Have a day, Ronda

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

"We understand your concern, but a personnel matter has been brought to our attention and it is our responsibility to look into it further. For the benefit of everyone involved, including Midge, we are not discussing the details."

Here's to lala land arti! Never fear - you got your place in the sun if only briefly. You, too, Ronda, great work!

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I certainly hope some day you find a person to respect as much as I do Midge; then maybe you will find some peace..

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

I have the utmost respect for Midge, don't know where you got the idea I don't. I have absolutley no respect for hypocrites and liars.

A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could. And quite often does.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

It doesn't mean they aren't taking the numerous informational parts, parcels, pieces, along with the overwhelming positive support of Midge, into consideration - that was the point; give air to the issues so the community has the knowledge and input it deserves.

I appreciate your side too, Fixed.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Ronda, but with the good comes the bad. Unfortunately, the blogging has given air to some not so nice things said about Midge. Things I would have never considered before. What about the readers who dn't know her and her works at all? Yes, a few can influence others.

Too bad everyone couldn't just let the process work.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Fixed, isn't it better to have both sides than no knowledge of what has transpired at all?

The reason behind this blog(s) is as much about why it isn't front page news as it is anything else. If the Chief of Police was put on administrative leave, or Loring Henderson of the drop in shelter, wouldn't it be front page news? Why is/was this so hush hush when it's such a community run, funded operation?

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Sure, I think it is great to have both sides - if the information is factual. That hasn't been the case, because we have no facts. On one side we have accusations of a witch hunt and on the other accusations of unpaid overtime. The LJW can print whatever they wish. Their choice, it is that simple. It may have been kept under wraps so trigger-happy bloggers don't cause a simple confidential personnel issue to get out of hand by the posting of idle speculation. Just a thought.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

I respect your opinion and you can call me' names and make light of the issue at hand but the reality is as far as you know many facts have come out in this blog - if nothing else the fact that a multitude of community members want to offer their support. Considering you have no insight as to why I wrote the blog in the first place you seem guiltier than most when jumping to conclusions or spreading untruths. If you truly feel this to be inappropriate why are you associated with it?

As I stated before, if this were any other organization who had suspended the director it would be all over the news. Dispute that fact.

RoeDapple 5 years, 6 months ago

I seriously doubt Midge considers this a "simple confidential personnel issue" as she has been placed on leave after devoting at least fifteen years of her life to it.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Name calling, Ronda? Oh my, that is reaching, but okay - I call 'em like I see 'em. At least I didn't call you a hag. LOL

You told me why you wrote the blog so it is no mystery now. I find it interesting the lack of a front page news story wasn't mentioned in your blog above at all.

Please point out where I jumped to conclusions. I stated facts about the process at hand. Untruths? No, don't believe so - the law is very succinct on pay for hourly employees.

I post here because I can, just like you. I felt I needed to point out the flaws and I did.

I choose not to speculate on the absence of a news story by the LJW regarding Midge's situation. I have no facts as to their reasoning - and neither do you.

pace 5 years, 6 months ago

Some of the people telling other people they should expect to work for free and at command, should get off their rear and go volunteer. I do not want hard working employees abused because their boss needs to get more out of her minions. I have donated money to the shelter as well as food and towels. I think the shelter is necessary and the people I have met seemed professional and caring. I don't donate money so someone can us a managers position to abuse hard working employees for the good of the dogs and cats. I expect decent treatment of both employees and the animals.

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 6 months ago

Um.....who is telling anyone they should expect to work for free? No one says that. Those accusations are flat out untrue anyways....so relax....and keep donating to the Humane Society regardless of the outcome of this situation.

pace 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for reassuring me, my my I don't know what to think about your empty meaningless assurance that everything is hunky dory and no one ever was expected to put in extra hours without compensation. I bet you stand behind how you feel a hundred percent. No need for more information for you. That is just unbelievably sweet of you. I don't contribute money blindly. My charities are examined. If I find administrative or delivery problems aren't dealt with in a fair and open manner my money goes elsewhere. I don't give to panhandlers and I don't give to glad handers. There are more places that need help than I can help, I find the idea of continuing to donate no matter what information comes out or how it is resolved an incredulous idea. I will donate if the information shows open examination and fair resolution. If one donates blindly to charities one could end up supporting pedophiles, thieves, child abuse and animal neglect, etc. I am not into that. Just because someone asks for your money or pats your back and says "don't worry about it, it is ok" doesn't excuse my responsibility of what my money sponsors. It is worth taking a risk to help but there is no point in doing it stupidly.

workingforanimals 5 years, 6 months ago

workingforanimals (anonymous) replies… I have been involved with the HS for over 20 years now. I have had interactions with previous directors and knew this organization when it's budget was a mere drop in the bucket. It has come along ways in these past 15 years. The people of Lawrence should be proud of the efforts and the reputation the LHS has. I've known Midge for the last 15 years. She is relentless in her pursuit of justice for the animals, tireless in her efforts to raise more funds, passionate about the mission of the LHS. This may be the biggest challenge that she will face in her career. Unfortunately, it is probably going to be the most devastating also. I have personal experience working for a non profit. The hours are long, the pay slim, the gratitude for doing a good job almost non-existent. What I've found in the 25 years of working for a non profit is that it's not about the director, the board, the volunteers or the employees. It's about the purpose, the mission of the organization. What public service does it provide? Who benefits? What can we do to make it better? I have questions? Why isn't the board regulating it's own board members? If the comments on this site hold any truthfulness then why are 4 board members being allowed to align themselves together to hurt the very organization that they are positioned to protect? Who's overseeing the board? A time issue? Give me a break? If any of you work in animal care then you know that we aren't in it for the money, the glory or the pats that we get on the back. We're here because we believe that by taking care of a living breathing creature we are fulfilling a greater good. I have been to the fundraisers ~ listened to Midge speak. She doesn't want to be glorified ~ she understands that she is part of a team and it's the team effort that pulls this organization up to the level that it is now. What damage is being done to that team now? Who will repair that damage? Who will suffer? The voiceless animals as one blogger put it. You're right ! Why administrative leave? At the budget level that the LHS has don't they have an auditor? Reading between the lines ~ this is a power struggle. Unfortunately, the board of directors is allowing this to injure the very thing they were to oversee and protect ~ the animals. It is shameful that someone's personal agenda is getting in the way of the greater good. Shameful that 15 years of service is negated for " personnel matters". Where will these board members be in 15 years? I'll bet not at the LHS ~ however if they are allowed to continue this thread the damage that they will do to this organization may be there. The rest of the board needs to look at the big picture ~ what LHS has become, what it will be and where it's going.

lawrence84 5 years, 6 months ago

The public support for Midge in this community is obvious. It's unfortunate there is a personnel matter that needs tending to. I find comments of a "witch hunt" quite hard to believe. Obviously there is a personnel matter that needs to be tended to otherwise she would be at work and not on reportedly administrative leave. The Board of the shelter is elected by the membership. They are diverse group of local individuals from all walks of life. A few individuals even if they were up to no good, can not influence a 16 person Board. Let them do the job they were elected to do and don't have a public opinion jury trial. Attend the meeting and write letters in support of Midge, but respect the process.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually a few can influence others and if you dont believe that then you should look into the history books .

drake4488 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

RoeDapple 5 years, 6 months ago

♣Free Midge♣!! ♣Build Lowe's Now♣!! ♣Walmart Forever♣!! (Cookie isle!)

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

I urge those commenting that the money donated will drop because of this to not stop giving to the shelter. You won't be punishing the board, you'll be punishing the animals. I will be there tomorrow in support of Midge, but I will also keep supporting the shelter no matter what because the animals need not suffer over petty personal issues. If you really do care about the animals, you will do what ever it take to keep our shelter from having to sacrifice the needs of the animals because of petty, people issues!!!!!!!!

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

I would like to add that Midge would also want you to keep giving to the shelter. She has worked so hard to make it as great as it is today and she does care about the animals more than anything else.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

I sent an email to all board members. Wanted others to know that Deborah Smith deleted the email without reading it. Very nice of her. So, she's got a grudge or else doesn't care about anyone's opinions. Will be keeping this in mind so she doesn't remain on the board.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

I sent a not so happy follow up email & she said that she routes her Humane Society emails through her work email & that she had to delete thsoe emails because they were "populating her work email". I advised he to wise up and not have them routed through her work so she could do her job as board member. I was not impressed with her.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

I will add that I got her to read my follow up email because I titled it "thank you". Funny how an email title Midge Grinsted was immediately deleted (she wasn't smart enough to realize I had a read receipt on the email). I did actually receive a response back from Sue Heck, which was greatly appreciated. She at least read my email and that will be remembered.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

People will go to the meeting Tuesday but more than that, people everywhere need to start getting ready to back Midge and the animals to the nth degree. Do NOT rest on your laurels, Lawrence, KS! You will never have any cause more right to defend and protect than Midge and the animals.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

My friend is grateful for having a job. However, being forced to clock out then go clean up animal feces is not the same as voluntarily attending a PR event.

Your friend is obviously in the wrong line of work. A certain someone I know works at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and sometimes she hears this, "You're late getting home from work," but her reply is this: "People don't know when they're going to get sick." It's the same thing with these pets. They're living their lives which is 24 hours a day in case some of you assume they stop going to the bathroom just because you clock out. No one should even have to tell you this. Common sense would have told you to not have applied for the job in the first place.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

Is your friend the nurse on salary? The rules aredifferent for salaried employees. if she's hourly, does she clock out, then go help the ill person? Some of you are really missing the point that IF people were required to work off the clock, it is a violation of Federal law, with serious repercussions for the employer..

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

Look at it this way. If the employee didn't do thier work while they were clocked in, maybe they were told to do it once clocked out to make up for the time they wasted and got paid for.

Where I work (large company with offices world wide), if an hourly person (warehouse staff) is caught not working, their pay is reduced or they have the option to work off the clock to make it up. If they don't like it, they can walk. If they get caught up to 3 times, they're canned.

The employee is committing fraud if they aren't doing what they're supposed to and are trying to get paid for it.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

No, that's not the way the labor law works. Your co-workers should be contacting the Federal Labor Dept. to complain. You cannot require people ton work off the clock. Its illegal.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

These employees are given the option of being let go for violating their work agreement (that you show up and work and not jack off), or they can make up the hours off the clock, be written up and keep their jobs (as long as they stop screwing off at work). Pretty simple and considering that the company attny sits down the hall from me and is a permanent employee, I think we're legally covered. No one is forced, they're given the option to work off the clock to make up for the pay they stole by not doing their jobs when they were on the clock.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps you should encourage your peers to contact the Feds and let them decide if its legal or not. I'm sure Wallyworld has plenty of lawyers on staff as well, yet they keep getting busted by the Feds and losing lawsuits on this exact issue.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

You seem to have some ax to grind? Care to share?

See, in the real world there are things called contracts. Everyone that comes to work at my employer signs many of them. You get busted not doing your job and wasting company resources (example - jerking off when you should be working), you pay the price. It's all spelled out and it's legal. I have no problems with it because I do my job. I'm also salary and have a different set of rules (I deal with overseas offices and work at all hours). When someone is paid to work for 8 hrs they're expected to work for 8 hrs. Sounds like you need some legal counseling.

So, what's your beef with Midge? Pretty obvious you have one (you just seem plain mean and unhappy).

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

I never at any time indicated an opinion pro or con about Midge. I couldn't care less either way. My beef is with people who think its fine to exploit hourly workers. Does your employer consider surfing the net to be wage theft? Because you sure seem to spend an awful lot of time posting here. Straight hourly workers cannot be made to work without pay. Contracts do not supercede Federal law. If you are so darn sure of your position, really urge your peers to call the Federal Labor Dept. In fact, since you know about this situation, you may well have a duty to report, or be liable legally.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

I will volunteer myself 24 hour days, 7 days a week. So any pansy who needs to leave through any door or window can be gone like the wind.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

I can walk my ass out of a door the same way I walk it in the door.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

You see the little reply button below the comment you want to reply to? Push that button, then type in the text box that pops up. Posting a whole new comment makes it really confusing to figure out who you are responding to.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

Flippin' crybabies. Waaaaaaahh! My boss made me work today!! Waaaaaaaahhhhh!!

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

You have my permission to have a relaxing evening. Just make sure you work double time tomorrow to make up for it. :)

Becky Smith 5 years, 6 months ago

As someone who spent many Saturdays volunteering at the LHS I am as appalled and confused by the situation at hand. I have known Midge for many years and have never seen anyone so caring to her family, friends, and animals to the city of Lawrence. We have been blessed to have her lead such a rocking ship with the little bits that she has available to her. As someone who has also volunteered at LHS I have seen many sides of the people who work there. Several Saturday mornings I have seen workers roam around trying to look busy and not get one task complete that they are assigned. I have seen people do more outside of their scope of duties to pick up for their co-workers lack of duties. I have as a volunteer done jobs that people assigned to do and well, supposedly "forgot" to do, like getting dogs bathed to send to vets or to get ready to go home for adoption. I have seen good people turned away from adopting a pet because they didn't have the right look or becasue someone felt that they the 5th person deserved the animal as opposed to the one who saw them first and fell in love with them. I believe that everyone there has their faults and maybe they should look inside themselves before pointing their fingers. Midge is now the scapegoat for many things, and I am sure she has her faults, but look deep inside. Would Lawrence and the LHS be better off without Midge and the fantastic things she has done or is it better to forgive and move on for the direction of who is really losing out here, the animals of our beloved city and those that are left by ASPCA

raiderssb 5 years, 6 months ago

I certainly second your posting. Although I no longer live in Lawrence, I have years of relationships, in various capacities, with LHS. Whether it was adoption, of which my family has done regularly, donating, supporting at holiday time (instead of gifts to our famil), designated gifts after the death of my Mother - who was very impressed with Midge - our family has not seen evidence of the problems mentioned here. Atleast, not on Midge's part. I have observed staff, not Midge, just "hanging around". I really didn't think much about it until I started going back through experiences I have had there over the last ten years. Most recently, in the last year, or two, I did experience feeling like I was "bugging" some employees when I had specific questions. Trying to look busy is an apt description of those "staff" members. Their job is to cater to the needs of the animals, and members of the community interested in supporting the animals in whatever way suits them. The attitude exhibited at times was as if they were doing the public a favor by actually doing the job they were hired to perform. For crying out loud - it is not rocket science. How petty, and ridiculous that this whole situation appears to have snowballed in to such a crisis. I cannot be there to support her in person but know that this former Lawrencian, and her family, stands behind Midge 100%.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

If, as several posters allude, workers are routinely not performing their work assigments, that would indicate poor supervisory skills on the part of management. Even if true, and workers are slacking, they still can't be required to work off the clock to compensate. They can be disciplined, or terminated, but you just can't make them work for free. It is illegal.

Becky Smith 5 years, 6 months ago

so my question is to the people who were "forced" to work off the clock: do you have proff or are you just jumping on the band wagon because you didn't like the fact that you had to work, choose to do the work you did and did it half way and got in trouble for not doing it. It is easy to cry wolf when you get caught!

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

If you are suggesting that I am one of the workers, you are mistaken. I live in Nebraska, and have already pointed out I don't care if the manager stays or goes. If workers are not doing their jobs, they can be reprimanded or terminated. They cannot be required to work without pay. If poor performance by hourly workers is the huge problem that some posters on these several blogs imply, however, this reflects poorly on the management skills of the persons tasked with the running of the organization.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

Just curious if this is suppose to be all hush hush and if the board of directors arent talking then how did everyone find all this out?

3up3down 5 years, 6 months ago

Geeez Laaahweeeez, Slap her hands. Say, "bad girl, don't do it again." Monitor it closely and put her back to work doing what she loves. Sounds like the tail is waging the dog here.

Tammy Copp-Barta 5 years, 6 months ago

Even at KU, where this recently happened in some of the shops, I'm sure they just made the laws known, told them what they could and couldn't do and probably sent them to a training. Supervisors had been requiring them to be ready for work 10 minutes before they were to clock in or be written up. As I understand it they all still have their jobs.

If there truly is a management problem, you advise them and train them .. you don't thrown 20+ years out the door, especially with all the LHS has accomplished under Midge's direction all those years .. and if this is a problem .. why would it take 20 years to find it? Sounds like it WASN'T a problem .. or the previous boards didn't do THEIR job!

danlowery 5 years, 6 months ago

"No facts, just opinion and observation". While on the board and volunteering at the Atchison shelter, I could never understand how many of the paid staff seemed to follow there own agenda and not perform the duties they were hired for. Surfing the iternet and then cleaning the kennels if you had time is unacceptable. When the shelter manage has to plead with the paid staff to do their job then we have a management problem. In observing Midge at the shelter, I complimented her on the way she kept the staff moving. I suspect the reason that a few of the LHS staff are not "flipping burgers" for more money is that they would be required to perform the duties as required or be dismissed.

haggisgirl 5 years, 6 months ago

If there is nothing to the allegations being posted by everyone but the parties involved, why doesn't Midge come forward and tell everyone what the heck is going on?

larrygm 5 years, 6 months ago

She hasn't said anything because maybe she was told not too!

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

Because she is unable to as well as the board isnt suppose to.

AnimalLover 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

somedude20 5 years, 6 months ago

T-shirt idea: LHS needs more than just a smidge of Midge

haggisgirl 5 years, 6 months ago

It seems to me that if my name was being "drug through the mud" and all kinds of rumors were circulating merely to agitate people, I would want to quell the rumors and defend myself regardless of whether someone told me to keep my mouth shut.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

You obviously haven't worked under a contract and have to be responsible to an entire board. At my job, I had to sign non-compete agreements, contracts stating that I'm not allowed to discuss anything dealing with my work outside of the workplace, etc.... It's very common. They've actually sued a past employee for comments made after she was released, but still under contract for a year to not disclose information regarding her termination.

KelliChurch 5 years, 6 months ago

If Midge did that then the board would take even more actions against her. And seeing how they seem to do things she may not have all the information herself.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

If she has retained an attorney, the attorney may well have advised her to refrain from public comment.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

I must be reading things differently than you, hag ( no name calling untended) because from where my eyes hit the page there is overwhelming support for her. Maybe two or three posters have said anything negative. Sooooo, who needs to stand up for yourself when you've got the town, and people from out of town, doing it so well.

Deec, you're likely correct. Although, for all we know she's one of many commentators. There are only a couple of us using our real names.

haggisgirl 5 years, 6 months ago

I didn't say there wasn't overwhelming support for Midge, in fact I do support her. I was noting that there were posters saying she was forcing folks to work without pay, etc. And I wouldn't want folks "standing up for me" when its possible that they are responding to rumors rather than facts. I would rather fight my own battles.

haggisgirl 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh, and Ronda, I do think the name calling was intentional. Sharon

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Just like if I call you Sharon, Sharon it would be intention. Lol.

fritz3 5 years, 6 months ago

Given that the Board of Directors and the employees aren't talking and most everything on this blog is minimizing any possible issues with Midge while bad-mouthing Board members and shelter employees, who do you think this information comes from?

People need to realize that there's always two sides to every story. You should all take a deep breath and open your minds to the possibility that the Board is only doing its job of overseeing what's best for the animals in the shelter and the employees that work there. To suggest otherwise without knowing the truth does a disservice to everyone involved.

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

I'll repeat that some board members won't even read an email that donors and concerned residents are sending (are deleting them immediately and admit it) and that other long term board members have walked away from the board until the witch hunt is over because they refuse to be a part of and watch the B.S. that is going on now. If there wasn't a witch hunt going on, the board would be united in their search for the truth.

How's that for you?

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

So there won't be a full board there? How can they vote on amything without a majority?

gatekeeper 5 years, 6 months ago

Noller said via email "i am the only board member who is not involved with the current board situation. i will return once midge is brought back as shelter director."

julz 5 years, 6 months ago

Okay, I just sent my letter to the board in support of Midge.....now it's your turn! Thanks mmblack for providing the email addresses!

fritz3 5 years, 6 months ago

Which board members have walked away?

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

Sue Hack, for one, needs to walk away from every Board she sits on. She has no business even attempting to lord authority over anyone.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Sue is a political person so she is bound to be involved at many levels. I don't thnink she is the problem here. She has had her fair share of false assusations made too. I might add those were all found to be untrue.

Bassetlover 5 years, 6 months ago

Hogwash!!!! Sue Hack rocks! It's obvious you don't know her or you wouldn't have made such an insane remark. She has done tons of great things for this community. She steps up and LEADS!!!

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

No one can look at "16" Board Members and not know what the problem is. I mean, this is a horrendous glut of special-interest politics.

Officers

Megan Hiebert, President Clinton Lake Marina MeganH@lawrencehumane.org

Sue Hack, Vice President Lawrence Chamber of Commerce SueH@lawrencehumane.org

Denise Van Sickel, Secretary Lawrence Pet Friends, LLC DeniseV@lawrencehumane.org

Directors

Sara Dawson Willis of Greater Kansas SaraD@lawrencehumane.org

Charles Derby Central National Bank CharlesD@lawrencehumane.org

Cedric Devin Christal Canine CedricD@lawrencehumane.org

M. Courtney Gibbs, DVM Bradley Animal Hopsital CourtneyG@lawrencehumane.org

Julie Lintecum JulieL@lawrencehumane.org

Joan Noller JoanN@lawrencehumane.org

Emily Peterson Callahan Creek EmilyP@lawrencehumane.org

Bobbie Pray Editor/Publisher BobbieP@lawrencehumane.org

Debbie Smith Insurance Sales DebbieS@lawrencehumane.org

Susan Stuever Health Care Access SusanS@lawrencehumane.org

Mike Treanor Treanor Architects MikeT@lawrencehumane.org

Sharon Murry 5 years, 6 months ago

I am not a resident of Lawrence (but i'm gradually getting there and wish I were now) and love it and I am there a huge part of my time--seeing clients, making mortgages loans, basketball, football, historical events, Citizens Journalism Academy, and just plain shopping even if I do live only ten minutes f rom Oak Park Mall. I had planned to get a new dog there in Lawrence after losing mine and a couple of years had gone by. I ended up finding one by accident and didn't get one there, but I would go by sometimes after a business appt. (and a change of clothes) and volunteer to exercise the dogs. When I had originally thought of gettting one and had it picked out and went to pick it up (a little, cute puppy), I remember someone who I am positive was Midge sayiing she had been trying to get in touch with me to tell me she didn't think the dog was ready for adoption yet. Apparently the sweet little puppy was pretty aggressive and not yet "socialized" enough to be up for adoption especially since my granddaughter was a little afraid of dogs at that time. She didn't want someone taking him until he was ready for fear they would get a little tired of his aggressive behavior and back on the street he would go. This shows a lot of intuition and desire for an animal to have a good home even if meant her taking care of him longer. This was most impressive to me, and I would hate to see someone who ran that kind of shelter not be allowed to do that job. Heaven knows, there are painfully few people who would.. I have always felt the shelter was better taken care of than any here in Olathe or around here. For those of us really short on money this year, I have discovered that we can go around to garage sales or our friends, etc. and see if there are any clean blankets or rugs that you can get for a song (or sometimes the people willjust give them to you if yu tell them what it is for.) They are in desperate need of those.

I read the LJW every day, but I guess I missed this. Thanks, Ronda (remember me from CJA) for bringing this to our attention.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Hi Sharon,

Of course I remember you. Give me a head's up when you're in town sometime and we'll have a chance to get caught up.

Thanks for your support. I hope all is well.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I understand your frustration indus. It is important to keep situations separate. One battle per field.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I will be there Indus as I support Midge.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

If there is nothing to the allegations being posted by everyone but the parties involved, why doesn't Midge come forward and tell everyone what the heck is going on?

It is customary (and very, very smart) to keep a silence under circumstances in which a lawsuit will be filed. And I would support Midge 400%, which is 200% more than I support her now.

pinecreek 5 years, 6 months ago

Well this has certainly become a messy topic for a needy, and needed, organization in the Douglas County community. Some observations--

When did this Board go to 16 members? That is rather large....what exactly is their quorum requirement? It hasn't been that long ago that the LHS Board had difficulty getting a quorum of 5 for meetings. This entire episode occurs just before the annual holiday fund-raising/end of year charitable donation cycle. Not good timing in a down economy. The comment about Board members spending time in the Shelter vs. other activities is off-base--Board members are there to help guide the organization, raise funds for the organization and facilitate broader knowledge of the organization with other community leaders and entities. That said, it's also a Board member's responsiblity to let the staff (at all levels) do their job and only intervene if there is a significant need to do so (positively or negatively). Finally, if there is/was a violation of some nature reported, the Board is taking an awfully long time to determine if there is an actionable offense. If there was an offense, there should be either a stern warning/sanction against the individual(s) involved or, if an egregious offense, termination of employment. Either way, taking 'weeks' is not a very effective strategy internally nor good public awareness and demonstration of control/leadership.

Let's hope that this turns out for the best for the Shelter, for Midge and for the Board. At the end of the day, this isn't about Midge or the Board--they don't really matter. It's the animals that matter. Hope that no one in this situation forgets that fact.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

I think it went well. Standing room only. Alot of good things were said. I couldn't hear alot of it, but a board member did come out to notify that a offer has been presented to Midge for her to look over and that they hope she will return.

osi 5 years, 6 months ago

I will honestly say Midge was always nice to my face but as a former employee I always wondered if the shelter got city and county money because I know I and a fellow employee were hired on below minimum wage and would not put it past her to force employees to work overtime without pay. By the way I had another issue there too. Both me and the other employee were female and she hired on another male employee above minimum wage. I hope she and her supporters do not retaliate against me or the current employees at the shelter. Minimum wage isn't much and when you and your kids gotta live off it, it's hard.

danlowery 5 years, 6 months ago

osi All payroll reporting to Kansas Dept. of Revenue has the pay rate and withholding information submitted on the filed return. If you were paid below minimum wage, I'm sure the state would have taken action. Look at your W-2 form.

osi 5 years, 6 months ago

My W-2 does not give my pay rate just gross wages.

osi 5 years, 6 months ago

Since LJWorld deleted the Team Humane Society blog I have this to say.I love all the employees at the humane society. The burden they carry so most of us will never be disgusted by poop and/or face animal pain on a daily basis for min wage is so large. After reading these comments I feel such pride for the employees there standing up and speaking out. WE LOVE ANIMALS! We want to care for them and we are happy when they are happy. But please we are people too, just because we are willing to pick up poop doesn't mean we are poop!

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Not one person has implied that in any post that I have read, All Midge's supporters ever wanted is for Midge to be returned to her rightful position as the Director of The Lawrence Humane Society / Ise Memorial Shelter. If you are somehow getting the feeling others feel that way because we support Midge then I suggest you step back and examine why it is you feel that way.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

Um...you seriously believe what you wrote right there? The employees have been repeatedly attacked and insulted. Just a few examples: "Maybe your friends should get their work done during their regular shift instead of taking smoke breaks every two hours or working hard at looking busy. " "When a person works for a nonprofit they can expect a little more work. I doubt there is any proof that anything is forced. I also doubt Midge has threatened anyone. " "These accusations about employees being forced to work "free" hours are not only absolutely false, they just plain don't make sense. " "These are the people that Midge has to deal with on a daily basis and these are most likely the ones who are complaining the most and are protesting about giving the level of care that they are untrusted with in the first place. They are only demonstrating their own lack of ability and I wonder what the animals would have to say." "Animal care is never ending and not for the lazy or incompetent. I have seen employees wait for other workers to finish their remedial tasks and then go and claim their hard work (clean dishes and laundry) as their own, leaving the worker who cleaned them with a pile of dirty."

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Again just accusations,. there is no proof nor have you supplied any that Midge did anything you have asserted. I add again that if you feel you have been malused contact the labor board. We know if founded it will hit the news then. Oh and Yes I believe everything I said.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

What are you talking about? I have no standing to contact the Federal Dept. of Labor, regarding the shelter because I neither work there, nor do I even live in Kansas. You claimed "Not one person has implied that in any post that I have read", and I posted just a few of the many examples from these several blogs, one of which was your own post. For the third time (try to keep up), I couldn't care less who runs the shelter. If (there's that word again), IF labor laws were violated, then the employees have every right to contact the Federal government and/or the Board, who are ultimately legally and financially responsible for the shelter.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 6 months ago

Twist much? If you have no no stake or concern about it then why bother posting. Again I don't believe labor laws were violated. If someone thinks they were then they should contact the DOL. They will investigate the situation and that will be the end of it. I don't hink that is the case here otherwise the board would not have offered Midge a proposal.

lawrencenerd 5 years, 6 months ago

Right, and you'll continue to insult the employees and pretend that you haven't been.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Osi,

And we (I) appreciate it is an extremely difficult job on so many levels: getting attached to animals and having to say goodbye to them for whatever reason, cleaning feces, urine, vomit, blood is never pleasant. The stench, the noise, not ever enough formal thanks, low pay.

Thank you to ALL the people who care for our little, helpless furry friends. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

IndusRiver 5 years, 6 months ago

What lawsuit is being filed?

My apolgy, my mistake. Should have written it to say something to the effect that silence is customary IF any individual is thinking about filing a lawsuit for a particular situation.
There is no lawsuit to my knowledge.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the clarity. I actually understood what you meant.

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