The Mayor and Council of the City of Rockville is meeting on Oct. 24 now, not 9/12, to put the approval or denial on the Deer Task Force Report which was written by hunters. At the meeting on July 11, the mayor and council first heard from the Task Force about their findings. The Task Force has been meeting for over a year to prepare their report.
The public is to comment on the Task Force written report. But this is terribly misleading. If you watch the videotape of the meeting of July 11, you will see that alternatives were hardly discussed. A hunt got the most attention. Most people don't know where to find this video or even that there is one; nor do they have the time to listen to the lengthy meeting.
Most of the public, unless they have been studying this for over a year like me, have no idea this is going on.
A silly citizen on the task force is worried deer will become violent. He says he threw a basketball at one of them and the deer didn't move--it's because the deer was afraid. There are no incidents in which deer have attacked. In fact when I walk my dogs at night, we always see deer resting next to rabbits.
I live in a prized area of the city because we back up onto a tiny part of protected woods and a stream. We do see deer and other animals on occasion, and we love it. They have not wrecked the appearance of our city or our home as the task force claims. Instead, they have enhanced it.
All of my rescued dogs have learned not to bark at the deer and we have pictures of the deer in every season where they are playing or laying next to one of the dogs.
The public and mayor and council have no idea of what kind of hunt is proposed. People are operating behind back doors so they can hire their friends in a company of professional hunters. Mayor and council and the public have no idea of the costs.
So far at least the 3 male council members have stated, before hearing from the public, that they will vote for a hunt. They have made it difficult for the public to even find information.
The public has until Sept 9 to comment.
So far our wonderful and kind mayor who is worried about the deer and how citizens especially children would be affected by the hunt, has had the courage to stand up for the deer; and to insist the Task Force provide more information, which they haven't. One of the male council members who is the most vocal for the hunt is running for mayor against her and tries to bully everyone.
The council members for the hunt have decided that they don't believe scientific facts for instance that deer really don't cause Lyme Disease. They refuse to believe information from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization and many expert scientists. They tell me they don't trust scientists!
They refuse to believe wildlife biologists who know that once a species loses numbers through a hunt, other deer will move in; and the existing deer will have more babies next year. Secretly they must like this because they know that one hunt will lead to annual hunts.
There is only one council woman left who will not speak with the public about her opinion. However at the meeting she said she would support it if the meat could be donated to the needy. Someone who supports the hunt jumped up and said of course it can and that hunters always do this. They neglected to tell her that many shelters have had to return deer meat because it is diseased. We do not know what the deer have consumed. And if the hunters use lead bullets, the person consuming the meat will get lead poisoning. How convenient to leave out these details!
Rockville should show the area that we can be the humane leaders and find ways for people who overbuilt the city, and the gentle deer to co-exist. Just because there is hunting in other places around us, doesn't mean it's right.
There are ways to easily protect their gardens, and ways to keep deer off roads. In fact accidents with cars and deer occur most when there is a hunt.
The hunt is such a waste of tax payer dollars that could best be spent on education about how to live with the deer; and on other things Rockville needs. Why can't we know the cost of the hunt?
Why won't these council members reveal their true motives? Is it because they are more worried about their image for the upcoming reelection in November?