Silver Lake -- The discussion of a potential deer population control program in the village continues.
"Every option's on the table," said Mayor Bernie Hovey at the Village Council meeting May 1. "No decision has been made."
Hovey said he wants Council to examine various options for addressing the matter. One such option is the possibility of putting the deer culling question before voters this fall. Hovey first raised that issue at the last Council meeting on April 17, but on May 1, he clarified that the ballot issue idea was "a consideration. It's nothing that I actually proposed that we do. I don't think it's a bad idea, but I asked Council just to consider it, talk about it, and see if they think it's a good idea or not."
The mayor noted a resident has visited Council a couple of times to advocate the use of "non-lethal" methods to control the deer population. He noted that is an example of another option that Council should consider.
"I personally think there is an issue with the deer here," said Hovey. "I would certainly support whatever Council comes up with."
Council Vice President Carol Steiner (District B) and Council member Christopher Scott (District A) were both absent from the May 1 meeting. Council President Jerry Jones (At Large) said he would like to discuss the deer issue again on May 15 when hopefully all Council members are present.
"[We'll] see if we can come up with some kind of agreement on what to do and where to do it," said Jones.
Council member Karen Fuller (District C), who was absent from the April 17 meeting, said she would not favor putting the issue on the ballot.
"We are elected to make decisions," she said. "Some decisions are harder than other decisions. We get a lot of input from citizens. I think Council should make the decision."
Some residents shared their thoughts with Council.
Adrian Achtermann said there are seven to nine deer that wander through the area around his home. He said the animals eat plants and vegetation on his property.
"If there's some way that we can control this, I sure would be appreciative of it," said Achtermann. "I'd be willing to help work on it."
Aimee Bauer asked Council whether the members had a chance to review information on a deer sterilization project that took place near Cincinnati, whether data had been compiled on the number of deer-car crashes in the village, if a count had been done to determine how much the deer population had increased in the last couple of years, and whether there were documented cases of Lyme Disease that could be linked to deer.
No member of Council answered Bauer's questions.
Tim Nichols said he supports giving residents the chance to vote on the question of having a deer culling program. Nichols said he favored a culling program and noted other municipalities have implemented culling programs because the deer have "become so invasive."
On April 17, Hovey provided Council with new draft legislation on deer culling. This proposal has not been officially read into the record at a Council meeting and was not discussed on May 1. The proposal, if it were enacted, would only allow bow and arrow hunting from an elevated position. The mayor would be in charge of selecting and approving hunters and residents would need to give consent for hunting to occur on their land.