Monday, November 27, 2006

New AGMs Announced

An old proverb states, “The wheels of justice grind slow, but exceedingly fine.” The same thing can be said of some City processes, such as selecting an Assistant General Manager (AGM). Animal Services is fortunate in that we have two such positions, one to oversee administration and one to oversee operations. The ultimate purpose for these two important positions is to help oversee and develop LA Animal Services into a premier animal welfare organization.

The selection process has been long and arduous but I am confident our community will be pleased with the end result. After many months of searching, recruiting, and interviewing I am prepared to announce my selections for these two very important posts.

The Administrative AGM oversees and manages the daily internal operations of Animal Services related to human resources, information technology, budgetary matters, administrative support activities; managing the development of systems utilizing state of the art computer and automation applications and evaluating the acquisition of information processing technology; preparing the annual budget; overseeing the payroll function and the deposit and disbursement of revenues and funds; and handling all personnel administrative matters.

For this position I am proud to announce the appointment of Linda J. Barth as Assistant General Manager, Administration.

Mrs. Barth has worked for the City of Los Angeles since 1984, starting as a junior analyst with the Department of Water and Power, and moving to Recreation and Parks in 1985. After twenty-one-years of increasing responsibility with the Department of Recreation and Parks, Mrs. Barth brings a special portfolio of sharply applicable managerial experience to Los Angeles Animal Services. Throughout her career with the City she has played a key role in nurturing new ideas and navigating complex projects to completion, and has been involved in nearly every aspect of department operations, including budget preparation, personnel and contract administration, business management and Department-wide information technology oversight. From September 2002 through January of 2004, Mrs. Barth served in a chief of staff position to the Recreation and Parks General Manager, and transitioning in February of 2004 to the key position as Project Manager for completion and reopening of the Griffith Observatory, which she helped steer to success in recent weeks. In a wide variety of areas, she has taken opportunities to design and implement positive change, and I expect her experience, optimism, and excellent communications skills to be a valuable resource for Los Angeles Animal Services.

The Operations AGM oversees and manages the daily internal operations of Animal Services field operations in the care and control of animals, the operation of City animal shelters, and the education of the public regarding issues that impact animals and the humans who care for them; enforcing all policies, rules, and regulations in the Department of Animal Services; enforcement of State Codes and City ordinances under the Department’s jurisdiction; managing public outreach and marketing efforts.

For this position I am proud to announce the appointment of Deborah Knaan as Assistant General Manager, Operations.

Ms. Knaan has served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services since 2004, and demonstrated her keen interest in improving Department operations through her interaction with staff at the administrative, operations, and shelter levels. An example of her personal commitment was that shortly after her appointment, Ms. Knaan enrolled in an animal shelter management course. Ms. Knaan’s perceptiveness in oversight of Commission business and her responsiveness to the public have made her a valuable asset to the Department and the constituencies we serve. Professionally, Ms. Knaan is an attorney, with nearly twelve years as a Prosecutor in the Los Angeles County Office of the District Attorney. In that position, she has proven her abilities in managing workload, conducting investigations, and working with community leaders, government officials, and law enforcement personnel. Prior to working for the District Attorney, Ms. Knaan managed a private business, and also has three years experience in the military, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. Ms. Knaan has extensive experience in effectively and positively communicating with the public, government representatives, and the media. Those key skills, along with her enthusiasm, drive, personal conviction, and initiative, make her a tremendous asset in making Los Angeles the largest “No-Kill” city in America.

I want to thank everyone who applied for these positions. This was a very difficult decision process given the number and quality of candidates who applied. Clearly there are many individuals both locally and across the United States who share our “No-Kill” goal and want to be part of making it happen. It is my hope that everyone who applied will continue to be involved in some capacity as we all work together to make Los Angeles a model city for the rest of the nation of what it truly means to be a humane society!