Will Carrboro Do the Right Thing?

On January 19th, 2016, Lindsey Paydon delivered our petition to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen at their regular meeting.

Alderwoman Jacqueline Gist questioned whether we really have a deer overpopulation problem. “The proof we have is only anecdotal,” she said.

Alderwoman Michelle Johnson agreed that bow hunting is violent. She added, “I think that if… it’s not safe…it’s not going to happen. And I would like that answer first, before we enter into another discussion about the data, because maybe we don’t have to go there with the data, if the police chief could just let us know. Because at one time, a different police chief did suggest that it was not going to be city-safe for culling to happen in Carrboro because of the density. And you’re right, the deer do not die immediately, and none of us want a half-dead deer running around downtown, right? That’s traumatic for deer and people.”

Alderwoman Bethany Chaney was concerned about “hiding a deer culling program in a Climate Change Action Plan.” She mentioned “folks that would sort of like to have something happen to the deer population because of other things, not because of climate change.” She went on to say that “all of the recommendations in the Climate Change Action Plan ought to be based on some recognized values that we have as a community. And I’d like to propose that one of them needs to be a recognition that climate change is in fact human driven, and that we solve a problem by correcting human behavior, not by correcting the natural world around us.”

Alderman Sammy Slade agreed that the deer cull needed to be assessed as to “whether it’s appropriate to even include in the Climate Change Task Force given its significance in relation to climate change specifically.” He later reiterated, “If we pulled out this specific recommendation, which is very specific to deer hunting, which we could do, because we may find that it doesn’t make a strong connection to climate change, it would mean that it wouldn’t be in the Climate Change Task Force at all.”

Mayor Lydia Lavelle repeatedly referred to the staff review process that was in progress, and that they were waiting for staff’s recommendation about all the recommendations in the plan.

Alderwoman Randee Haven-O’Donnell was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, although she has previously responded to our correspondence: “I am with you. You don’t need to convince me.”

Alderman Damon Seils was also absent from Tuesday’s meeting. We have not received any correspondence from him regarding his position on this matter.

It appears that the safety of deer and humans in Carrboro now rests in the hands of Police Chief Walter Horton.