Mayor's spokesman confirms BARC move, following last week's denial

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An email from a city official was floating around earlier today, and KRIV-26’s Isiah Carey has confirmed the news with Mayor Bill White’s communications director Frank Michel: BARC will be moving out from under the city’s Health Department.

Click here for Michel’s statement. According to Michel, the city is still deciding whether BARC might become its own department.

Interestingly, when Carey first reported a week ago that he was hearing rumors BARC might move, the same Frank Michel emphatically denied the rumor:

The fact is BARC will remain under the auspices of the Health Department. There are no plans to move it.

I am happy to speak to you if you have further questions.


Frank M.

So, the possibilities would seem to be that: 1) Michel misled the media about this move, 2) Michel didn’t know about the move for some reason, or 3) Mayor White decided to reverse course over the last week for some reason that he could share with the public, perhaps, being the transparent executive and all.

UPDATE: The Chronicle‘s reporting on the topic has been interesting as it has “evolved” today. Here is the lede that was posted on this afternoon’s version of the story:

Mayor Bill White on Tuesday reversed course and announced the troubled Bureau of Animal Registration and Care will be moved out of the city health department and could be run as a free-standing agency or added to another city department, top aides confirmed.

Later in the day, that lede evolved to this much more positive one (with no warning to readers):

Mayor Bill White, impatient with the slow place [sic] of reform at the city’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, has changed course and decided to separate the troubled agency from the city Department of Health and Human Services.

To interrupt the cheerleading for just one second…. given how long this problem has lingered because it hasn’t been a mayoral priority, isn’t it a little silly to editorialize about the mayor’s impatience” at the “place” of reform? And wasn’t the earlier lede, with just the facts and without the editorializing, in fact a better news lede?


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