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It's getting to the point where I am sometimes embarrassed to admit I live in Clarence. The News' recent expose regarding the deplorable conditions at the town's kennel is the last straw in a situation that has been festering for years.

In December 1994, Mary Trapper, a relief dog-control officer, resigned from her job because she found conditions at the kennel objectionable. She reported her findings to the Town Board several times. Since the kennel had already failed to pass several state inspections at that time, why didn't the board take remedial action then?

Nearly four years later, things obviously have not improved. The violations keep piling up, with the kennel failing seven state inspections since September.

Town officials are directly responsible for supervising the performance of their employees. To repeatedly refuse to correct a bad situation is a pathetic example of non-performance of the duties entrusted to them by the voting public.

Town Supervisor Daniel Herberger said, "It's got to be done, and it's got to be done right . . ." Of course it does, so why not find someone capable of doing it right and move on? The town has reappointed the same man over and over again despite the knowledge of numerous failed inspections over a period of nearly four years.

Animal control officer Ronald Schmidt blames the unsanitary conditions on the age of the building. That is an unacceptable excuse for allowing filth to pile up. Schmidt said he is embarrassed. He certainly should be. He should also consider himself lucky that he isn't charged with cruelty to animals.

Shame on him for not doing his job and shame on the Town Board for annually reappointing this employee.

Pat Melancon