Workshop on deer in September
Town Councilors are looking to conduct a September workshop about deer overpopulation on the island and its effects human health, but Monday they could not decide on a date for the session.
The council designated Town Clerk Arlene Petit to arrange a date acceptable to all of the councilors.
Interim Town Administrator Thomas Tighe reported that some residents, primarily on the north end of the island, have contacted state health officials about health concerns, primarily to report many Lyme disease cases.
Tighe said that state health officials have offered to conduct a workshop on the issues as part of the council’s workshop.
Earlier this month, the council agreed to appoint a committee of residents and town officials to determine how to deal with the deer overpopulation, but it has not yet named committee members.
Ten residents submitted a petition asking for immediate action by the council on a state report that recommends hunting to help reduce the size of the island’s deer herd.
The petition stated:
“We are very worried that all that will happen is talk by wellmeaning but non-scientific members. You need to make a decision now. You have talked for the past two years; not enough has been done. Please use the (state) report to make the decision now to deal with the overpopulation of deer.
“We voted for a Town Council to make decisions, Please, no more talk. We have a severe public health problem. When people in the Middle Ages were faced with the bubonic plague epidemic because of the rats, they got rid of the rats. We have Lyme disease/ deer tick epidemic — we need to eliminate the overpopulation of deer.
“Please act now. . . .”
Signers included Glenn McCaffrey, Ray Boornazian and Birute Cabral of East Shore Road, Donald and Diane Forest of Summit Avenue, and Matthew Byrne of Fairview Street.
The council accepted the petition as a communication, without comment.