The Mayor has flip-flopped on bringing violence to Plainfield in the form of a deer kill.

We are TOLD on a Friday night that Monday council will approve, and the Cushing wetlands will be used for killing fields again, starting October 1. The back room decision is being pushed through to avoid resident discussion.  Who is benefitting from this?

Killing has done nothing but provide hunters with municipal lands to bait and kill, while taxpayers cover their costs. Remember, this is not a hunt, or sport, it is a kill.  Scapegoating deer is a failed attempt to give residents the impression of action.

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One only needs to look at Union County's own statistics.   In 1994, Dan Bernier, then chief of UC park operations, introduced sharpshooters to Watchung Reservation to 'thin the herd'. Since then, he has built, at taxpayer cost, an extensive program of 'hunting' in Union County that involves multiple locations and has been extended to nearly six months of deer killing.

In 2017 our own City Council gave Union County the Cushing Road Retention Basin to be used for killing fields despite public outcry. Cushing Retention Basin is not a hardwood forest!

'Thinning the herd' is a carefully scripted method of ensuring stock for the next hunting season while feeding residents unsubstantiated sound bites as justification.   "Management" of human behavior is the only guarantee of permanent success.

In these 26 years, nothing has been achieved except to divide communities and increase taxes. Freeholders unanimously support this failed experiment every year, backing their colleagues and job security while ignoring the voice of the people.  After 26 years, Bernier's own statistics show increase in numbers of deer who live in the woods!  In fact, this year his skewed 'counts' weren't even done and there was only an announcement of "the yearly kill sites".

Get ready, residents of Plainfield, this will be yearly. Make sure all realtors disclose that to buyers.

Meanwhile, we continue to tear down and build up and pave over. Shame on you, mayor and council, for giving the impression that you would not endorse killing.

Only responsible development,  enforcement of speed limits, and support of a community who recognizes the value of living in harmony with all beings will guarantee a viable solution.

Plainfield was recently in the news not for its achievements but for shootings and stabbings.   Now, it will be there again for brutal and unnecessary animal killing.

Reminder of a few notes from a meeting involving Union County employees and Ray Szpond, President of NJ Sportsmans Club regarding .....the program (killing) expansion which will now start October 1.

"Hunting with archery relies on the deer dying as a result of blood loss.   A deer that has been shot ... will often run 100 yards or more.... Hunters will need to make an effort to cover up the blood."

Also, "Sometimes a wounded deer will run deeper into a park area and become lost within brush...Several hunters that I (Szpond) interviewed said that losses (non-recovery)  due to archery....could run as high as 50%".

Finally, "....crossbow arrows (bolts) cost up to $20 each....they are very often destroyed after hitting a deer bone or passing through the deer into the ground.   The bolts, which have razor sharp blades, are
not always recovered and they may be found later by park users, including children".

This is the reality of what you bring to Plainfield if you agree to more slaughter.  Combined agenda for most of 2020 and the use of remote 'meetings' has greatly limited the input of residents.
Killing doesn't work but it will create even more division between residents and elected officials.

Marie Ansari
Animal Initiative Committee
Plainfield, NJ