The Blogster, following up on a report last week on the hefty $180 million in damages to public health and property done by deer in Fairfield County each year, had the opportunity to test the two major gubernatorial candidates on the issue. They were vaguely interested, if under-informed. Let’s face it: they want to get elected and asking about deer is way, way out of their comfort zones of “jobs and the economy.” So if you live in a town where there are 60 deer per square mile and you need 10 to 12 per square mile to stop the proliferation of deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, you should go out of your way and ask the candidates (including Independent Tom Marsh, who is on the November ballot) about it when you see them in the field and ask for them to promise to address the problem, possibly by approving a measly $25,000 to subsidize butchering deer that hunters want to donate to food banks; or funding contraception efforts. And yes, chances are, over the next two-months-plus, they will visit your town or city because they want your vote.
Malloy lives in the Shippan area of Stamford, a peninsula on Long Island Sound that deer can access only by strolling through downtown, or trundling up Cove Road from Cove Island, down the hill to Cummings Park and beyond, into the plush neighborhood. Foley’s Hogwarts-style property in Greenwich has a large pond, or moat, as the Blogster likes to tell him, in the back to possibly thwart deer invasions. The Blogster ambushed Foley and Malloy on the issue last week after speaking with them on another topic.
Malloy on deer: “I don’t really have an answer. We have to distinguish between what’s a nuisance and a public safety hazard. Some are concerned about safety because they do present a hazard. They are also associated with Lyme disease. Those are the concerns I’m concerned about.” He says he’s “open-minded” about the issue, though. “I’m more focused about restoring jobs and getting the economy going. We’’ll get to the deer problems after that.”
Foley: “There have been some substantial attempts in a passive fashion that have not been particularly effective. There’s always a conflict. Do you take the deer down or not? Do you extend the hunting season? Generally speaking I’m not strong advocate of shooting, or killing… I’m not anti-deer, nor pro deer. There are certain instances when we should remove them. I know a lot of people infected with Lyme disease.”
In the realm of follow-ups on the gubernatorial trail, the Blogster recalls visiting the home of Ned Lamont back when he was a candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and noticed that Lamont’s Greenwich manse was surrounded by the kind of anti-deer netting that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but keeps the critters out of the day-lily bed. But not everyone’s great-grandfather was J.P. Morgan’s right-hand man and can afford it.