ORDINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
Committee Chair Mr. Hoefle opened the meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Hoefle, Mr. Meyers and Mr. Spotton. Present from Council were Mr. Zuren, Mr. Kasunick and Mr. Evers and Council President Ms. DePledge.
In attendance from the Administration were Mayor Morley and Chief Reik.
Also in attendance were members of the public.
Members of the audience that were taping the meeting:
There was nothing under Proposed.
Discuss deer control.
Mr. Hoefle: At tonight’s meeting we are not going to be making any decisions. The Mayor did invite a member from ODNR and the gentlemen’s name is Mr. Westerfield. He will be putting on a presentation for us. I will now turn the meeting over to Mr. Westerfield.
Mr. Westerfield: With the deer control there is always a dividing group of people. Some people say to kill them all and some say to save them all. Obviously in the city you are going have that diversity of people. The challenge then becomes from the city side of things is how do you be receptive to both groups. The easiest solution to that is what I call a Citizen Driven Process. What that is that the city modifies their ordinances to allow lethal control but only through a permitting process to the residents. Basically it puts the burden on those residents’s to say hey I want to do this and here is where I want to do it. The city in what I kind of suggest is that their main primary role in this whole dealing is to address city ordinances but from an implementation standpoint is to simply look at it from a safety standpoint. In my eyes that is what your job is and to make sure that anything that is done in the city it is done safely. The process allows the resident to submit an application to the city. It says that I want to control deer and here is where I want to do it. The city then takes a look at the application and looks at the property and says yes this could be done safely based on what you are asking or no that it cannot be done safely. I don’t want to make it sound like it is bad or good. I guess it depends on who you are and how you are looking at it. One of the problems is that cities have historically been put under fire, because they topically go in as an all or nothing type of venture. They say hey we are going to allow hunting or we are not going to allow hunting. Obviously when that happens those facts just start fighting with each other. Then they start pointing figures at you guys when one says don’t do it and one says to do it. Where the citizen driven process comes into play it basically puts and allows you guys to essentially say no. Our sole job is safety and it doesn’t matter whether it’s driving through the city, play in a particular part of the city or whatever it is, it’s all about safety. Your stance is that we aren’t going to let anything occur unless we deem it safe. Topically the safety aspect rolls over to the Police Department. That is the common sense. A department within you guys would make the determination. In the cities that go down the path is that they take a look at it and say either the Chief or his designate. He may have someone on the force that is a hunter and understands hunting, understands the safety, and how people are going to be operating. Can make decisions as far as saying hey this would be a safer way to do it. That person or people that he designates are the ones that go out and take a look at those properties and make those determinations. The beauty is that it takes a lot of burden off of you guys and it puts it on the residents. The second part of it is that other that a little bit of administrative part with the officers going out and a little paper work it is virtually free. You can easily offer a nominal fee of $25.00 or $30.00 from the application side of it. It would easily cover the expenses that the city incurs from doing that. You guys should be able to get out of it with no net loss at the end of the day. A lot of time people ask what’s the minimum acreage is. Let’s say that we are going to travel down this path whets the minimum acreage? I am always trying to modify, twist and make things better. One of the concepts that we started to utilize is the regard to acreage concept. Instead of saying hey you have to have two or five acres minimum, we kind of pitch all of that out the window. We say hey you know whatever the application comes…say that I am the Police Chief I am going to take a look at this application as it is submitted to me. You may have some properties…now I am going down the road to the power plant, where there are bigger properties that back up the power plant. If it is a smaller lot but it is over by the power plant and they are okay with it, then no big deal. It isn’t going to affect anybody over in that area if the deer would wonder onto the property by the power plant and especially when they have permission to retrieve the deer that do go over there. Another concept that has come into play is the home owners association. You may have groups of homes that either knows each other very well and they are part of an association. The application allows them to come in as a group. Instead of just individual property owners saying hey I want to do this on my property, it allows them to reach out their neighbors. It puts the burden back on them to say hey…let’s say they have a small piece of property but the neighbor has woods on theirs. It makes them work with that particular resident to say hey I am thinking about doing this, what do you think? Could we work together on this? Then they come together to you as a package. The other nice thing about this is…and let’s says that the Police Department is out there looking at a piece of property and say’s it is close but not comfortable with it. It allows them to turn it back on them and say here is what you need. There is some nice property over there and you need to talk to those people. A lot of times the police officers know who the people are not tremendously in favor of deer hunting and they may say that I have talked to your neighbor before and they absolutely hate this. This is not going to be a positive thing for you, for them or for the city and we really need to think this over. It is really a citizen driven process through an application has worked out really well in several cities that we have been rolling it out in. It takes a lot of burden off of you but to have the process make sense rather than having a lot of people pointing figures and going in a revolving circle of never getting anywhere. If you get to that point then a lot of the burden then comes back on us as far as working with the land owners in regards to the specifics to deer management. I always look at the non-lethal stuff first. If a resident calls me up and says I live in Eastlake and I have a problem with the deer getting into my garden…the first thing that I am going to talk with them about is coming up with a barrier around that garden. That is going to be first and foremost. It doesn’t matter if we kill a thousand deer that garden is still susceptible to the deer. I always look at non-lethal way first. Having those lethal options in the background is an option that can be really helpful. Sometimes there are resident’s…and I have dealt with them many times and they are willing to do that stuff but their mind says that they just want to kill deer. That may be the case and usually in those situations kind of refer it to hunting season and they do it during hunting season. Obviously they would still go through you guys to ensure that the property is deemed safe. They do it through hunting season and everybody is happy. What we see in a lot of these cities that have rolled this out is in the initial year or two you get this flood of people calling council for years. Saying that something needs to be done about the deer and some people come out of the wood work really quick. After a year or two a lot of them start to settle down. A lot of people in knowing that they have the ability to do something really the solution in their eyes and then it puts the burden back on them. And if they choose to not do anything or allow somebody to do it, then it is on them not pointing the figure back at you guys for not doing anything. They can’t blame anybody but themselves. With ordinances I always try to keep it super simple. I often see in a lot of cities that they want to put all of these rules and stipulations and you have a three page long ordinance that they put together. To me the point of an ordinance is that you want to have something on the books that you can…the officers can go out and write a ticket on and say here is the codified ordinance that we are writing you a ticket on. Here you go and go pay the ticket. You can write it very simply and by having this application process you can build all of these rules into the application and the permit part of it. It is not part of the ordinance and that makes it really easy for you guys to have flexibility to change things over time. That way if things would change or you notice something that needs modified you don’t have to go all the way back to council and put it as a motion to modify that ordinance. You simply just go ahead and modify those rules as you see needed as you are going through it. Usually that is going to be through the Police Department as they are noticing little tweaks as they go throughout the process. It has worked really well in the cities that have implemented it. It puts that burden on the residents and has worked really well to keep things moving through. It gets the people off of calling you and that’s in most cases what the situation is. You guys are coming to me because you’re getting calls from the resident’s. It is about trying to be receptive to those resident’s. A lot of that burden comes back to us. If a resident…what I would love to have in a point in time and I can do this now I am just limited with my options. Is to say here is a division and I like to give them a call. We have lethal and non-lethal aspects then we can work with the land owner to identify what is the best tactic at that particular time at that particular damage with those particular deer. Then we move forward with the right route for that person, whether it is to issue permits outside hunting season, so if they have damage in the middle of the summer we can issue permits. If it is hunting season we can issue permits for that and we can also issue permits for bucks that are trampling on ornamental trees. We can write permits for that outside hunting season if need be. It provides us with the flexibility to work with the residents.
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: You would set up something…our Chief is involved with one of our residents and it is Mr. Vogler. We have talked about it that if Council would approve a program that he may be the person running the program. You have a lot of specifics on…we have talked in the city about the control hunt and about the acreage. Going back and forth with Council and asking questions. After our last meeting with Mayor’s and Managers I figured that it was a good thing to bring you in and talk with Council and the resident’s who are concerned about doing the controlled hunt. You have everything set up so if they decide to move forward they could work with Mr. Vogler, or he could work with you on getting this going, if Council chooses to do that. This is the third meeting that we have had. The first meeting we had thirty people the second one we had three people and this one we have three people. We haven’t had the opposite effect of people against it. The people who are here have had a lot of damage in their yard from all of the deer. There are a lot of deer in this city.
Mr. Westerfield: That is the beauty of it and from your stand point…I am not trying to pass the buck. Let’s say that we end up with fifty people in this room and twenty-five for it and twenty-five against it the reality is that if you don’t want to do this then don’t do it. If you do want to do it then we are giving you an opportunity to petition to basically ask the city the permission to do so. If you don’t like that he’s doing it well you talk to him, because that has nothing to do with us. We are here for safety and safety only and that is what we are going to look at and the only thing that we are going to look at. Not whether or not you like deer or whether you hate deer or job is to look at it from a safety thing. Can what they are asking be done safely? Yes or no. I always say that I have everything laid out on a silver platter for you guys. I’ve got templates already made up for ordinance that you can simple cut and paste your cities name in. I have templates already made up for the application and permits. I have everything already to go for you. So that if you guys said give me what we need I will provide it who ever and say here you go let’s roll. That part of it is pretty simple. I work with a ton of cities. This isn’t my first rodeo. Every city that I go to there is something new that pops up or there is a different twist on things. I try to learn off of that so when I put all of these templates together I kind of work off of all the different things that I have learned. What are some of the barriers that you guys experience all of the time? What are some of the things that you guys want to accomplish from a safety side? I work with our law guys to know from a legal side of it and on how do we make sure that the suggested ordinance is going to achieve what you want it to do. And to still allow to write tickets and stuff like that. I have everything laid out and ready to go. You can use it if you want and you can change it all that you want too. I have it to where it is cookie cutter ready to go.
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: If you guys want Mr. Westerfield to send the templates to look at then we can share them with Mr. Vogler and the Chief can look at it.
Mr. Hoefle: I would like to have the templates sent to us.
Mr. Westerfield: Do you want me to send it to one point person?
Mayor Morley: You can forward it to me and I will forward it out to Council since that will probably be the easiest. I don’t know if you guys have any questions I thought that I brought them to the last meeting.
Mr. Hoefle: Chief Reik do you have any questions?
Chief Reik: I talked to Mr. Vogler and I will definitely look at the ordinance and talk too…I know that you have provided that some of the other cities that do this. I will touch base with them too. I like the idea that they have to complete the application and to put the rules on the application. It does make a lot of sense rather than coming back and having meetings to change every new rule that we find. It is worth looking into. You guys are obviously getting enough calls and such to be here and out.
Mr. Hoefle: Is there anyone else on Council that has any questions? Mr. Kasunick?
Mr. Kasunick: Are there issues with the deer that are either wounded or end up with arrows stuck with them? Is that ever an issue and if so what are the ramifications of that?
Mr. Westerfield: That is always a concern by Council Members is you know that we decide to go forward and now a guy goes out there and shoots a deer. Now it is running around the city with an arrow and 5,500 people that are seeing it every ten minutes and it is causing a major stir. I can tell you that there are a lot of cities that have hunting programs. Does that happen? Absolutely deer will get hit and it will leave the properties that are permitted. Does it turn into a big media stir? Is it running by kids sitting on a school bus? Certainly anything can happen but that is not something that you see all of the time. That kind of stuff would hit the media and they would certainly hit on subjects like that. We don’t tend to see that. Built into that template for the permit is that one of the stipulations is that any deer that leaves the property that is permitted they must immediately notify the Police Department. It is really a double edged thing. For one they know that there is a deer that is off of that property. If it is going in an area where they see that it is going to be a bad situation they can jump ahead of it if need be. The second part of that is if that deer has left that property who ever shoot it wants that deer. They shoot it to produce it in possession. Sometimes it has worked out well that the Police Department may get it three or four properties over, go across the road or end up on a property that they don’t know whose it is. Then they get a phone call saying hey I have this deer with an arrow in it and they go well I just got a phone call from Mr. Smith that the deer he shoot has left his property. Let me get a hold of Mr. Smith and I will get him right over to you and give me ten minutes. It has worked out really well that the Police Department quickly coordinates that. It is done very quickly and easily. We’d really see those situations pop up to where they are catastrophic or that they are any major issues. The one thing that I will say is that when you get into urban settings most guys are going to shoot a deer are going to take very close shoots. A hunters mind set is that I want to kill this deer as quickly as possible and I don’t want to go very far to get it. When they are sitting in these tight quarters their mind set focuses even harder on that, because they know that they are in tight quarters. They tend to take very precise shoots. With that being said it is nature and things happen. Breezes blow and they hit a branch and it kicks off to the side so things happen. As a general rule of thumb they are taking very close and very precise shoots when they are shooting. They are working to make sure that the deer isn’t going to…it is a big pain in rear for them to deal with it once that happens. It is in their best interest to make that. From the police side of it…if it is something that is a repetitive…let’s say that I am the Police Chief for the day and I have a guy that has called for the third time in a week. We are going to have some pretty serious discussions as to…you are not doing things well. It kind of builds into that permit for the chief to revoke a permit if need be for reasons that he deem are necessary. A lot of it gets addressed within that if things would arise for something like that.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: I have a question about the example that you just gave on a deer that has left the property and gone on to another property. Can you expound on exactly how the deer would be disposed of if it is wounded and it has left the property? That the ordinance has been…the police…
Chief Reik: We could destroy it then.
Mr. Zuren: It sounded like they notify the hunter. The hunter is allowed to shoot the arrow on neighboring property? That is concerning.
Mr. Westerfield: Anybody shooting a deer in Ohio has to have written permission from that property owner to be on their property. Lets on the tangent here and let’s say that I am a hunter and I have a permit that is permitted for a group of six properties. I shoot this deer and it goes off of those six properties and onto the neighboring property. I can’t go on that property without written permission from that property owner. I need to knock on that door and talk to them before I would go on their property. However, in the cities case I would also notify the police, because the deer has left that permitted group of properties. I have notified the Police Department that the deer has left and it is sitting there I would say that it is sitting on the adjacent property at this address. I am going over there right now to knock on the door and make sure that it is okay to go get it. In most cases you knock on the door…in most cases they are going to know that someone is probably hunting over there. Even if they don’t you say I was over on this property and I shoot a deer it happened to wonder into your back yard and I am sorry about that. I want to take care of this and get rid of it really quickly for you is it alright if I go get it. Yeah sure and they go and get it real quick and get it back on to the properties that they were permitted on. Certainly there are and what we find is in most cases that’s how it works out. The person says just get rid of the dumb thing I don’t want it back there. In rare cases the person says you know what you are not going on my property. In Ohio the only person that is allowed to have that deer is the person that shoots it. There option is to leave the thing lay out in your back yard or let the guy go get it. That is what works really well and sometimes we will get involved in those situations, because usually at that point the hunters have called us saying that I have a big problem. I have this deer and this person is giving me a hard time with it. Sometimes the Police Department will step on or we will step in and go knock on the door and say hey here is the situation. This guys…it went fifty feet off of the properties he just want to get his deer. You don’t want to leave it lying out there he is not trying to make a bad thing. Between the officers and at that point it is good to go. In the Police Departments that have had to talk with someone…it happened in Avon Lake a couple of years ago. They had a group of properties and the deer went onto the adjacent properties and the lady initially said no. The Police Department sent a guy out there and knocked on the door and said apparently this guy…yeah but I didn’t know what the situation was and the officer talked to her. She said fine and goes ahead. These guys have the power of persuasion like no other. A lot of time they are able to use their skills and talk to them and say let’s just get it remedied and move on.
Mr. Hoefle: I have a question that follows up with that. What if the homeowner is not home?
Mr. Westerfield: Technically they have to wait until the person gets home. In a lot of cases is why these group of properties work well. Especially in city settings and let’s say you have a wood block. The deer tend to stay in the woods especially if they have been shoot. It extends out onto some additional properties. A lot of times when the officers are out there looking at that property they will say you might want to touch base with them. There is a likely hood that the deer may go over there. We can rope them into this permit and that is going to give you a much better ability to go get that deer if it is shoot. The reality is that the amount of deer that leave permitted properties in these programs is very, very low. We are talking one, two and maybe three a year on big programs. It is very, very minimal. I always say that there are a lot of cities going… there have been cities for decades that have implemented hunting programs. I don’t know of any that have implemented something and then said you know what never mind. Get rid of this thing it is the worst thing under the sun. Not saying that it is an end all be all. The point is that if there are major issues like that creep up they would say forget this it is too much of a hassle. It isn’t worth it. We don’t see those situations occurring on a regular basis to where it would be something that is a major concern for city members.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: You brought up the point of safety. It brings one question to my mind. The deer herds here that are here in Eastlake are they healthy or unhealthy?
Mr. Westerfield: I am sure that they are healthy. In most of these programs one of the things that we see in city settings is that food is not a limiting resource. They have plenty of landscaping and they have plenty of food to eat. We tend to see that in city settings the deer are very healthy. It isn’t going to be something like…I don’t think that you guys would ever get to a point where the deer are unhealthy and they are dying because of that. They are dying of starvation or anything like that, because at that level the number of deer it would take to have it at that level…your number of phone calls will be out of the roof. You are going to defently be doing something before we get to that point. In general the deer here are healthy. From a consumption stand point that is a good thing. It really isn’t material in the grand scheme of things.
Mr. Evers: That brings my next question. The number of deer to be harvested…what is it based on?
Mr. Westerfield: You go on a citizen driven process that is driven by the citizens. If Mr. Smith is a land owner and I have seven deer on my property and I want zero. Whether it is I or I get people whatever the case is. I get to where I try and get rid of those seven deer. If I am Mrs. Smith and I like seeing the deer but I just don’t like a ton of deer. That allows her to say I am only going to get a guy. She tells the guy that I only want you to take two deer and that is all and after that we are done. It allows those residents to determine what that number is. It isn’t you guys saying that we have 500 deer in the city and we have done all of these survey’s to determine there are 500 deer. We want to take it to 200 deer. It is the residents utilizing options to dictate for them where the deer herd is comfortable for them. It is more than just having the people that hate the deer and the people who love the deer; there is that whole gamete in the middle. For people to say that I like a little bit, or a little bit more than that, I love them and I love them a little less than that. It allows everybody to manage to their own level to what they are comfortable with. It puts the burden back on them. Let’s say I have a guy who likes to hunt out here and I am still having problem and you say well then you need to get some more guys. That is what we would tell them that you need to get more people out there then. If you are experiencing damage then you need to get out there…in some cases of issued damage permits and people have been lackadaisical with them and they don’t get someone out there right away. But they call and say this is horrible and I am still getting…well how many deer have you taken since we issued a permit? Well none. It goes back to them. You need to get those people out there. Sometimes between us and the Police Department, especially for this program to get rolled out usually there are a group of folks that can identify the people that are killing deer and are active and listed on permits. You will see this in the city where somebody says hey I want the deer removed and I don’t know anybody that hunts and I don’t know where to go. As the process rolls along and as people get enlisted on permits to shoot the deer. It then start identifying those folks and then the city can say…and it is a service that you guys kind of provide to say here is somebody that you can reach out to. I can’t tell whether they or not but we know that they have killed some deer in the past and here get a hold of them. We can help out in that regard as well. We have some tools at our disposal to help and identify some people. Usually through the program it works really well to help identify those people.
Mr. Hoefle: Are there any other questions? Ms. DePledge?
Ms. DePledge: You’re saying that if for instance that a deer wanders onto property where hunting isn’t permitted and it wandered there because it is still alive. It collapse there and it is still alive then does the hunter kill it or do the police have to come in and shoot it? What happens then?
Mr. Westerfield: I can’t think of a situation and I am sure that it has happened. Usually the deer is dead when it is there. Certainly that situation could arise. That would be one those cases by case situations. These officers kill deer all the time. I am sure that when a deer gets hit on the road and it isn’t dead all the way and stuff like that. It is one of those decisions that they would probably make at that time. Usually they are going to know who it is so the logical thing would be from their side of it. Why discharge the side arm if you have this guy who is ready to go get this deer and he has a bow so just let him do it and call it a day. If there would be a situation that I would suppose that the home owner would not be comfortable with that, I would think that they would be comfortable with the police officer acting in their duties of killing that deer. Just as if it were hit on the road and lying in their front yard in the same exact fashion.
Mayor Morley had nothing to report.
There were no further questions or comments.
Mr. Klammer was absent and excused.
There were no further questions or comments.
Mrs. Schindel was absent and excused.
There were no further questions or comments.
There was nothing under Miscellaneous.
RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC
Todd Vogler, 560 Howells Court, Eastlake
Mr. Vogler: Other municipalities where they started the culling program or a controlled hunt you normally see an influx of hunters swarm to that area, because it’s the new kid in school. Do you have an idea on the percentage of hunters retain hunting within that city limit for a period of let’s say three to four years? It goes down dramatically after years correct?
Mr. Westerfield: We tend to see that it goes down and part of that is because like I said where some of those residents now recognize…yeah because it is the new thing on the slate so they jump onto it. But after a year or two and they kind of fade off into the back, because they get this concept that I have the ability to do so I can do it if I want. But they don’t come…they aren’t having hunters out there. You should also see where some of those hunters that have been out there are being successful obviously and that is reducing the numbers on those properties where those people have identified problems. Typically those numbers in those areas after a couple of year’s kind of even out to where that property owner is comfortable with. That is why it kind of turns into a stable flow of hunting.
Mr. Vogler: Basically it becomes supply and demand.
Mr. Westerfield: Yes.
John Farwell, 36823 Lakeshore Boulevard, Eastlake
Mr. Farwell: Thank you for coming and a great presentation. It is very knowledgeable and it sounds like you have been doing this for a long time. I know there are a lot of concerns about whether we should do this or we shouldn’t do it. I think that everybody know my position on what this is. I would really like to move this thing forward or we kill it. Understand where the seven of you guys are in your decision making process to move this thing forward. Deer hunting season starts on Saturday. If you are for it I would like to know if you are and if you’re not I would like to know why you’re not. I understand based upon what your opening remarks were that this is really about safety. This not whether or not you want to kill deer or don’t kill deer. For the record I’m not a hunter and I am not going a single deer, but I have a serious deer problem. I want hunters to be able to come and hunt and harvest deer on my property. Mr. Spotton has been to my house twice in the last three weeks and you can talk to him about the deer problem that I have in my property and in my neighbor’s property. I would like to know tonight before we leave this meeting whether the seven of you are for it or whether you are against it. If you are against it I would like to know why.
Mr. Hoefle: I am going to speak on my behalf. I don’t think that we are going to be making any decisions.
Mr. Farwell: I am not asking you to make a decision. I just want to know individually whether you are for it or you’re against it.
Mr. Hoefle: I that everybody here on Council and the Administration still has to retain the information that has been provided to them. Think back and look at it and we have other things that we discussed at other meetings. For me personally I would be commenting if it is for or against it at this time. That is my opinion. I can’t speak for everybody else on Council. That is where I am at right now.
Mr. Westerfield: If I could interject something and it is an interesting way to look at this is…some cities have looked at saying we are going to allow hunting or we’re not going to allow hunting. If you allow it then you need to disallow it and you need to go back to Council to revoke that ordinance right? That is one of the nice things about having a citizen driven application process. You guys can pass it tomorrow it doesn’t mean that you have to have an application. It just means that option is there for whenever you guys want to utilize it. Based on what he said it is something that you guys could move forward with and make the ordinance read as such that. Like the template reads that if there is a process there then the resident can use it and if you choose not to have that process then you can stop that process. Or you can start it up whenever you want.
Mr. Hoefle: Are there any other comments from anyone on Council in regards to his question?
Mr. Evers: I am not going to make a decision tonight. I haven’t seen the templates and until I see the templates and ensure that the safety of all our residents’ is guaranteed I will not make a decision.
Mr. Hoefle: For the record Chief Reik has been at the meeting and Council Meyers has just arrived.
Earl Lemay, 41 North Lakehurst, Eastlake
Mr. Lemay: Do we currently allow any type of hunting in the City of Eastlake? Such as ducks off the city…what is that?
Chief Reik: The water isn’t governed by ordinance. When the marinas have done some duck hunting that is not governed.
Mr. Lemay: From land or from a boat?
Chief Reik: From a boat or ice.
Mr. Lemay: The reason why I ask is that my property faces Lake Erie with an open shoot either by gun or arrow straight out into the lake. I was wondering if that could be considered in this acreage.
Chief Reik: I am assuming that is one of the things that they want us to take into consideration if we went forward with the program, so that they have a safer back drop than another house.
Mr. Lemay: Now are you talking just bow?
Mr. Hoefle: Yes.
Mr. Lemay: Does any resident have the right to protect their property from any type of wild animal?
Chief Reik: There is not trapping either unless you are a licensed trapper. You can prevent with sprays and…
Mr. Lemay: And fences.
Mayor Morley: We have no fire arms. No discharge of fire arms in the city limits either.
Chief Reik: That includes arrows, pellet guns.
Mayor Morley: We would have to look at that. I think that with Mr. Farwell is asking and I don’t think that he is looking for a decision. Obviously I am…we have looked this and we have had three meetings and now we really haven’t had an opposition that they are looking for. You guys are looking about moving forward and I understand that you have to look at the templates and all of that, but I am okay from my end if we move forward on something. It is the seven of you that have to make that decision. I think that if with have the Division of Wildlife and as I have said I don’t want the Chief to be involved. The chief meet with Mr. Vogler and I believe but I won’t speak for the chief, that he is comfortable with Mr. Vogler. Mr. Vogler also comes from the Safety Forces and he would probably manage if this goes through. As long as we have the templates and like what you said on the presentation that we put it back on the residents. It is not going to cost us anything, which for our city is one of the biggest things. We set up everything else and move forward. That is what we try to do and we will end up having other meetings with the public and go from there. At this point in time this is our third meeting. I have sent out notices to all of the people that had concerns. It has been in the Gazette articles and here we are. I agree with Mr. Farwell.
John Farwell, 36823 Lakeshore Boulevard, Eastlake
Mr. Farwell: We are just kicking the can do the street. We are going to continue to spin our wheels and spin our cycles. As a Council Members all of you have been voted into represent the citizens. If we can solve the safe issues right…it is your duty and your obligation to make some decisions here to move forward. This Council is not doing that and I don’t understand why.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: Chief Reik do you consider the deer herd in Eastlake to be safety issue as far as automobile accidents or interactions with the public?
Chief Reik: We have accidents and I don’t have the numbers.
Mr. Evers: Are they excessive?
Chief Reik: That is a very subjective word. Excessive to what? Again property destruction you have no reason to doubt Mr. Farwell as far as the property. My own plants have taken a beating at times.
Mr. Evers: I agree that the property destruction is there but I don’t consider that a safety issue.
John Farwell, 36823 Lakeshore Boulevard, Eastlake
Mr. Farwell: I can tell you that my neighbor has two Husky’s and they were walking their dogs down Lakeshore Boulevard onto Lake Hurst this week. You are welcome to ask them but the deer actually charged at the lady with her two dogs. These deer are very, very accustomed to people. They are very offensive and aggressive. They will not move unless you get right up on them and actually physically touch them. They are a naissance and they are bringing on diseases, ticks, lice and they are leaving their fecal matter all over people’s yards. It is a mess and they are a naissance and we have to do something to protect. I am going to continue to move forward with protecting my own property. I feel like the city is not helping me to protect my own property as a home owner in the City of Eastlake. If you guys decide not to do this I am going to move forward with trying to figure out a way that I can protect my property in some other fashion or format. They are destroying my property and I need the city to do something to allow us to protect it. I would hope that we can come together quickly and make a decision as to whether or not we are going to move forward or if we are not going to move forward. So that we can all get on to bigger and better things.
Richard Pelts, Valley View Drive, Eastlake
Mr. Pelts: I just want to second with what he said that I don’t think that safety is the only issue. If you said that if we only had eight accidents in eight years or whatever. Anybody who lives in Ohio knows the reality and probably knows someone who has been in a serious accident with deer, with a motor vehicle or otherwise. Also the thing that he said as long as I’ve lived in my house since it was built; I even mentioned this to the Mayor. I was coming through my back gate that is adjacent to the woods. I still have property after my fence before the woods start I came out pulling a wheel barrow backward. When I turned around unbeknownst to be I wasn’t looking where I was going a buck. I know a little bit about their biology and everything. He was completely no velvet left full complete rack. That should happen a few months down the road in a year. Regardless of that I had obviously startled him and he was in the attitude that he wanted to hurt me. I mentioned to the Mayor that I have little grandkids and if I can’t…on my own property and have a young child that is safe from the likes of a deer. Who is six times bigger than the kid, then that is not a safety thing that has already happened that we have record of. I think that the reality of it is that everybody realizes that something…traffic accidents and stuff is nothing for me at the area that I live to come home at night. When my headlights come around the corner to go in my own driveway…the houses there on surfside you can touch your neighbor’s house. It’s not like we are on farm land. My headlights shine on the eyes of the deer that are eating my thousands of dollars worth of landscaping that I have put in. Just like what he said I am probably the worst nitpicker and everything as far as pride in my property. I have spent way more than what my house is worth to keep it looking nice and everything. I am unbelievably discouraged that I don’t feel like the city or my Council or anybody is backing me up on wanting my house to be a nice place where I live and a nice representative of my neighborhood. The last thing that I will say is and I have motioned this in conversation with the Mayor as well that in talking with my neighbor’s that live on that side of the street…and now it doesn’t even matter because it’s nothing for us to have visitor’s. They look and walking down the paved street with six or eight of them at a time and they say look a deer. I say that it’s not unusual for us to see that. When I say that the neighbor’s are discussed and prized specimen of some plant such as a tree or a shrub that has grown into something worth many hundreds of dollars and it’s gone. I tell them to call somebody and report it. They shrug their shoulders and say nobody wants to hear it and nobody gives a crap about us. That is the attitude that the citizens have. I was probably the biggest parader with a flag of don’t have that attitude and to work with them and everything. I am kind of in the attitude now that I know where my neighbor’s are coming from. Why mention it because if anything does happen it will be five years and you might be dead and gone by the time anything is done on it. That is just expressing it…I am not any kind of elected representative of my street, but just to convey hearsay of the gossip of the neighborhood. That is the attitude of the people. Their property is destroyed. Everybody there and even the people that have minimum yards or minimum care they don’t care one way or the other, because they don’t have anything nice. I have had lots of nice things that I’ve…sprays you name it. The problem is too big. I’ve lived in my house since 1970 and when I first moved there the woods were behind me I don’t believe that I ever laid sight on a deer, not even one in the first ten years that I lived there. Now if I don’t see thirty or forty a day it’s an unusual occurrence. One group will migrate through this way and I know that it is a different group because once they sprout the antlers it’s a different size male in the group. Thank you for listening.
Ms. DePledge: Do you want to get the forms and circulate them to everybody on Council so that we have a chance to look at them?
Mayor Morley: He is going to forward them.
Mr. Hoefle: My recommendation was to get the information from ODNR and have everybody review it. We have all of our notes from the other meetings and let’s have one more committee meeting and let’s go from there. At that point we were looking at it before but I know that when the Mayor asked to set up another meeting with ODNR so we would be obliged at that and we are with that.
Mr. Lemay: To answer Mr. Evers I have had two vehicles hit by deer in the city over the years. Most recently it was $4,000.00 worth of damage and it happened at the corner of Roberts Road and Route 91. For ODNR are there any other solutions to the deer populations such as sterilization, trapping or anything like that? Is there any discussion with the Metro Parks that is down on Reeves Road?
Mayor Morley: I can answer the Metro Parks question. I meet with the Metro Parks and they will not commit. Mayor Anderson and I meet with Metro Parks at Mentor when we first started discussing it. Everyone in this room knows that Mentor has a very good program that I believe over the last five years.
Mr. Lemay: But they won’t cooperate?
Mayor Morley: It’s not that they won’t cooperate it’s like everyone else they aren’t going to use their funds or personnel to help us.
Mr. Lemay: Will they allow the property?
Chief Reik: It is too political and I don’t think that they…
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: I think that the last time that we looked into this Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins was on Council. We had Metro Parks come in and they said no that they will not partake in any deer culling.
Mayor Morley: I think that the one thing that we need to look at is that last November they six communities go to this. Mentor has been at it for a while. Listening to Mr. Westerfield read that there are no issue’s and will there be some issues here and there? Obviously yes but in the end I think that we just…I agree that we just…if you go to one more meeting make the decision where you are going or not. I think that is what they are looking for and everyone is this room that I have been talking to over the last year at least. I talk to Mr. Pelts all of the time and with these guys all of the time.
Ms. DePledge: The other thing is that has happened is that this has been out in the public now for almost three months and there hasn’t been a big up roar of opposition to it. Which is also helps us to make our decision. It’s like we are being rushed into it one week decision or anything like that.
Richard Pelts, Valleyview Drive, Eastlake
Mr. Pelts: You mentioned about public…this meeting I apologize I wasn’t late and when I came in there was no cars in the front at all. I came in and I thought that the meeting was going to be where it was the last time that I attended a meeting. I didn’t hear any noise or anything so I said that I must have gotten the time wrong. I came home and my wife said that I thought that you were going to the meeting? I said that there is no body there. She goggled or Facebook or something and she said that it was at six o’clock. So I came back and came into the dark room and no cars out front as well. But then I heard the rumble of some voices and made my way back here. In keeping with that how does the city…if I lived next door to Wal-Mart on Vine Street. I have nothing but pavement around me I would say hey if they want to live out in the sticks on Lakeshore Boulevard let and it is not my concern. I could understand people…half the city has no concern with the deer at all, but if you live where I live and where thousands of other people do. We are concerned and I am concerned…these meetings there is not enough information as far as wide spread knowledge of the times. If wouldn’t have gotten the call yesterday I wouldn’t have known about this. Where do we discuss that would it be something to put on the mar key? Would it be something that…unfortunately the Gazette has spaces between the publications that it might be too late. I think that far more residents would have an interest…they just don’t even know. When I mentioned that I came to the one meeting they said how did you know about it? I said I just got wind of it and I said that I didn’t see it written down or anything. That is going to be part of it that if you want the public support. I don’t know if this may have been brought up during the time that I wasn’t here. Are our city laws or charter…is this something that has to be approved by voters?
Mayor Morley: No it has to be approved by Council.
Mr. Pelts: Just to Council…okay.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?
Mr. Kasunick: I believe that Seven Hills passed an Ordinance it went to referendum, which means that it is going to be on the ballot there and I just mention that.
Mr. Westerfield: It was already on ballot it was part of the six city group that went on the ballot in March. All six cities passed it. It was sixty-six to twenty-four is what the average passage was between all six cities. Interestingly Avon Lake who had just on the heels of that done a survey of their resident’s trying to look at the acceptability of lethal controls as they were continuing their deer management program. They saw exactly the same thing a 66% or 70% of the resident’s who were okay with lethal control. It is a general thing that we seeing all across the board in all different cities. I did want to address the question that he had. That is that are there other options? Absolutely there are all kinds of things out there. When you are looking at dealing with damage the question then becomes how are you going to do it? If we have a deer that is causing damage in Eastlake and we pick up and move them…even if we move them to a rural area it can still cause damage. We battle the rural areas…they are managing those areas as well. Even though we have hunters there we have the same dynamic that plays out in the rural areas, where you have people that don’t want deer hunting and people that do. Just moving them doesn’t solve the problem. Aside from the fact that when you do that they shortly thereafter anyway. So you are kind of killing them anyway. There is sterilization programs and stuff like that but if you have damage to landscape it does you no good to sterilize the deer. They are still on the landscaping eating all of your landscaping. On the ground still eating your landscape and a lot of times when we go to contraception…you actually increase longevity of the deer. You actually put them on the landscaping even longer to cause damage.
Mr. Lemay: Does it reduce the future population?
Mr. Westerfield: Theoretically it would in the long term. The problem is that you guys don’t have any borders. The deer don’t know to stop at the Eastlake boundaries. So the deer come and go freely. If you all of a sudden don’t have…let’s say that the population crashed in seventeen years when the deer finally die. The deer population crashes…well you have deer in Willoughby, Mentor and Timberlake those deer go hey there is a bunch of area over there lets just go that way. That is where the citizen driven process works out really well, because no matter how that dynamic plays out it allows that land owner or group of land owners to modify on a year to year basis what level they want to control things or to not control things. There are other options for non-lethal stuff and I am certainly more than willing to talk to you about some of that stuff afterwards also.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Vogler?
Todd Vogler, 516 Howells Court, Eastlake
Mr. Vogler: This is directed to ODNR…you’re the closest thing that we have in the room right now to an expert. In your professional opinion is a controlled hunt the most reasonable cost affective and viable solution to this problem?
Mr. Westerfield: Oh without a doubt. Cost wise to the city it is negligible and it allows so much flexibility for the program from both the city side and from the resident’s side. It allows for all situations that are out there to really be addressed. When you couple that with us having a role in that and working with the land owners, really it’s the solution to the problem. If there was ever a silver bullet…hunting isn’t necessarily the silver bullet. Opening up the ability for lethal control then opens up the silver bullet for us working with the land owners to address their particular problem and to work towards a solution on it.
John Farwell, 36823 Lakeshore Blvd., Eastlake
Mr. Farwell: A follow up to that question this program or these programs that have been done by all of these cities in North Eastern Ohio. From a safety perspective is it a fair assessment or fair conclusion that the City of Eastlake can come up with a program that would be safe and not harmful to the citizens?
Mr. Westerfield: Absolutely without a doubt in my mind.
Earl Lemay, 41 North Lakehurst, Eastlake
Mr. Lemay: What about field dressing? What do you do with the remains of the unusable meat?
Mr. Westerfield: Do you mean like the guts and the inners? Usually that boils down to that particular land owner. Sometimes we find landowners that say I don’t want left chair get rid of it and some say that there is a shovel here just dig a hole and bury it. Some say hey the trash bags are on the garage or shed grab one and throw it there and pitch it in the trash when you are done. Some say that there are trash bags and take it with you I don’t want it left here. Occasionally they will say that I don’t want it done here just take the whole thing with you. I just don’t want it done here. It puts it back on the resident to say hey here and lets them decide what level they want that to occur.
Mr. Lemay: Should that be in the application that would be addressed to the Police Department?
Chief Reik: You can field dress a deer at your house now. That is not governed. If it would be on the property of accepting land owner then field dressing wouldn’t have to be addressed. If you kill something in Kirtland with permission you can bring it to your house now and field dress it. We might get a call on a terrified neighbor but that doesn’t make it illegal.
Mr. Hoefle: With that I believe that everybody has had the chance to talk about this. We will wait for the information that you get and you will get it to the Mayor and he will forward it to us. Then what we will do is schedule another committee meeting and we should be able to make a decision based on the information with that.
There was no one who wished to speak.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:58 p.m.