Council member threatens litigation over deer hunt

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The long-argued urban deer hunt continued to stir the citizenry and council table alike during this week's Eureka Springs City Council meeting.

Although last meeting City Attorney Tim Weaver told aldermen he felt they had legally obligated themselves by vote to continue with the deer hunt from Nov. 10 to Feb. 28, the issue was back on the agenda this week as "reconsideration of the deer hunt."

Weaver suggested council look at Robert's Rules of Order to see whether it had any valid issues to reconsider, and whether everything "has all been done in the right time frame and in the proper manner. It's a rules thing," he added.

As before, critics of the hunt seated at the table were concerned with the parameters of the hunt and the wording of the ballot measure that made it possible.

"It's come to my attention that the procedure used to get this on ballot [originally] may have been flawed, the time lapse between it being put on the ballot and the vote may not be in compliance with state statue," Alderman Lany Ballance said. "The ballot issue itself contains language that is impossible to deliver. The proposed hunt is most certainly not the hunt the people voted on. And I have it on reasonably good authority that there are funds available right now and people willing to bring this in to litigation if it continues."

Alderman Karen Lindblad described the whole thing as a "total miscarriage of justice" and continued to insist the people who voted for the deer hunt had no real idea what they were voting for.

At that point, Alderman Parker Raphael urged the council to "quit tearing open old wounds and picking at old scabs," and council voted 4-0-2 (four in favor, zero against, with Lany Ballance and Karen Lindblad abstaining) to take the issue off the table and send it on to the mayor for implementation.

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