County Lies big-time, City believes them; City Attorney Misleads Council

I just found this June 18, 2004 article form the Santa Monica Daily Press. Councilman Genser suggests City should disobey the County order and tell THEM what the City is going to do. Marsha Moutrie wakes up from her sleep and says the City had better obey the County order, but does not state why. Too bad the City Attorney could not tell Council what the reasons and liabilities were.

Article says County Health threatens to come in and poison the squirrels themselves. This is the same lie Mike Frood was telling City staffers and witnessed by many. City officials (unnamed) says the County, when they come in, will use broadcast poision--that is, just throw it on the ground so Fido can eat it too.

Even I, as naive as I was in 1998 and heard this, didn't believe the County would invade the City and spread poison on the bare ground. Can't believe City "Officials" were more naive than I.
Yet, Gail Vangordon email says the County will not sue the City, it is not a health emergency, but a concern, and never mentions the County coming in and poisoning.

Vote for Genser. I am moving back to Santa Monica to vote for him.

Santa Monica Daily Press
June 18, 2004


Health officials demand that SM poison ground squirrels; Council begs to differ

Daily Press Staff Writer

CITY HALL A contentious dispute over whether Santa Monica's ground squirrels should be poisoned to prevent outbreaks of the bubonic plague has pitted local leaders against Los Angeles health authorities.

The City Council this week voted to look into alternative ways of dealing with the local California ground squirrel population.

Officials from the Los Angeles County Health Department twice recently demanded Santa Monica kill off its resident ground squirrel population, saying if City Ilall doesn't do the work, they will. At issue are the many ground squirrels living inside the Palisades Bluffs, above the Pacific Coast Highway.

"If your dog has fleas, you don't kill your dog," said City Councilman Kevin McKeown, kicking off a divisive, hour-long debate on the dais.


Perhaps the most ardent supporter of the ground squirrels was Councilman Ken Genser, who suggested City Hall disregard the county mandate.

"I don't know what the county would do, but I think if we're serious about trying to solve the problem, and maybe not following the order strictly, I think we should maybe not be so much asking the county but telling them what we intend to do, and leaving it at that," Genser told his colleagues.

"There is a human dimension to this," he added. "I know, certainly for certain individuals in my family, the squirrels are a very important part of their recreation. And I think they bring a lot of pleasure to a lot of people in this community."

McKeown said he hoped to avoid disobeying a county order, but emphasized he feels strongly about saving the squirrels. He pointed to Riverside, Santa Barbara and Ventura, and said City Hall should follow their method of treating the squirrels for fleas, rather than killing them outright.

"(The county keeps) coming back to us, every year or every other year, and asking us to kill all the squirrels in Palisades Park - and that just feels wrong," said McKeown, who brought the issue to the council. "If there's a way to do this without going head to head with the county, I would go toe to toe."

City Attorney Marsha Moutrie warned the council not to do anything deliberately against the county order, adding their mandate is several weeks overdue.

"Whatever you decide we should do we need to do it promptly, because this is now a second notice from the health official," she said.


What will happen next is unclear.

Though City Hall hopes the county will cooperate in finding a way to deal with the squirrels, staffers said health authorities in a recent warning said if City doesn't act fast, they will spread poison themselves.

That possibility has many concerned, because the county doesn't employ the special "bait tunnels" that City Hall has used in the past. That method attracts squirrels, who then pick up the poison and carry it back to their resting spots. County officials, staffers said, use what's called a "broadcast" method where poison is essentially scattered about, putting other small, bluff-dwelling animals at risk.

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