MANATEE -- More than 30 people have applied to be on the Manatee County Animal Services Advisory Board.
After concerns voiced by county staff, the public and commissioners, who received emails and phone calls, the county reopened the application period for residents interested in serving on the board, which makes animal policy recommendations to the Manatee County Commission.
The county has 34 applications on file from 2014 to present. Applications were due Saturday.
There are six vacancies on the seven-member board, which hasn't met in nearly a year.
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Terms for six members of the board have expired or the members have resigned.
The last Animal Services Advisory Board meeting was in November.
At its Sept. 22 meeting, the commission was set to appoint five new members and approve an amended resolution for the Animal Services Advisory Board, but the agenda items were pulled the day before the meeting after concerns arose about certain people not being listed as potential appointees.
"We received concerns from several people who said they submitted applications," Deputy County Administrator Karen Windon said last month.
"We felt that it was better to pull it and readvertise so everyone interested in serving had that opportunity."
While 14 applications were included on the Sept. 22 agenda for consideration, the county now has 34 applications.
Some applications received as early as February 2014 were not included on the Sept. 22 agenda.
Nick Azzara, county spokesman, said the Public Safety Department, which now oversees the Animal Services Division, will contact all applicants from as early as 2014.
On Oct. 1, the Animal Services Division returned to the Public Safety Department after Bill Hutchison, former interim director of Animal Services, retired Sept. 30.
"They are going to get in touch with those individuals who have submitted applications to determine if they are still interested," Azzara said.
Joel Richmond, animal services enforcement supervisor, has been named acting chief until a new director is selected.
A search will take place for a new animal services director, Azzara said.
Hutchison said Sept. 21 they included all 14 applications received for consideration for the advisory board.
"I processed every one that I have," Hutchison said.
The date when the commission will appoint members to the advisory board has not been set.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@Claire_Aronson.