By DON STINE
How to deal with Ocean Township’s run-away deer population and whether or not to allow medical marijuana sales in the township will be left up to voters in this November’s general election in two separate referendums.
“These are non-binding referendums and will not automatically result in the council taking any action. We want to hear from everybody and the best way is input at the voting booth,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said.
“These are important questions,” he said.
Bow hunting or sterilization are two primary options being considered in Ocean Township to deal with the township’s large deer population.
“There is a deer problem,” Councilman Robert Acerra said, adding that there are deer on almost every acre of land in the township.
“We will hear what voters want during the general election. We will take that information and know what to do,” he said.
The ballot question about controlling the deer population asks voters to consider two options:
A: Should the Township of Ocean adopt a deer management policy by the Mayor and Council that is limited to the use of non-lethal methods only?
B: Should the Township of Ocean adopt a deer management policy by the Mayor and Council that includes the use of lethal methods?
Some residents showed up to voice their support for non-lethal ways to control the deer but comment was supposed to be limited to the adoption of the two ballot questions.
“There is plenty of time to discuss how we want to handle this. And we will have public input- I promise,” Siciliano said.
The marijuana ballot question also asks two questions:
A: Should the Township of Ocean allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within the Township of Ocean limits?
B: Should the Township of Ocean allow operation of facilities that cultivate and/or distribute to medical marijuana dispensaries in the Township of Ocean limits?
Resident Ellen Taylor said she supports the sale of medical marijuana for township residents that need it.
“How gracious of us to have a dispensary here for them,” she said.