Ridgefield Deer Committee

Ridgefield Recreation Center

195 Danbury Road

Ridgefield, CT  06877



        A meeting of the Ridgefield Deer Committee was held in the Maple Room of the Ridgefield Recreation Center, 195 Danbury Road, Ridgefield, CT  06877 on June 14, 2005 at approximately 7:00 p.m.


        The following members were present:

                Douglas Barile

                Guy Bocchino

                Andy Bodner

                John Borger

                Helene Daly

                Pat Hutchings

                Peter Keeler

                Sid Kelley

                Lee Pepin

                Jack Sanders

                Raymond Sementini

                Pat Sesto

                Gwen Thaxter

                Tom Venus


        Ms. Sesto chaired the meeting.  Major John Roche of the Police Department was present.  Nancy McDaniel was present to take minutes.




Welcome & Introductions – Members introduced themselves by name.


Minutes - The minutes of the May 23, 2005 meeting were reviewed, and members accepted them as written. 


Review Draft Report Recommendations  - Ms. Sesto asked for comments about the draft recommendations circulated in advance by email.


1.  Controlled Hunts - Ms. Hutchings asked how controlled hunts are announced and hunters chosen.  Ms. Sesto replied that the details could be decided by either the Implementation Committee or the Deer Committee.  Further discussion revealed that recreational hunters are not paid, but that bait can be used.  Ms. Hutchings then went on record as opposing controlled hunts due to the use of bait, although she said that she could support hunts where no bait is employed.


Ms. Thaxter went on record in opposition to controlled hunts.


2.  Residential Landscape Management - Concerning technologies that deter deer, Mr. Sementini wondered if methods other than the “Deer Tech 880” should be mentioned.  The consensus was that the general term “behavioral modifiers” should be used in place of specific products.


3.  Lyme Disease - Mr. Barile referred to the section on education and suggested striking “appropriate measures to reduce/eliminate this habitat” in favor of “preventative measures to eliminate tick-borne infection.”  He added two preventative actions: 

a.  Remove leaf litter and underbrush piles from frequently used

     lawn areas.

b.  Move wood piles and bird feeders away from the house.


Ms. Thaxter stated that the report is completely inadequate.


Other Report Comments - Ms. Sesto reported that, at Mr. Belote’s request, Matt Denesuk will write a summary of speaker presentations for the Committee’s approval.  On Mr. Sanders’ recommendation that Committee minutes be attached to the report, members agreed that a single set of minutes should be submitted to the Selectmen’s office for reference.  Mr. Sementini offered to make copies of the minutes files at Town Hall.


The Committee then agreed that a summary of all the speakers should be added to the report.


Ms. Sesto asked that each person who had written a section of the report send the latest version to Mr. Sanders, who will create the final report.  Mr. Venus suggested a format of statement-of-problems followed by recommendations.  Mr. Sanders will open with an executive summary that includes the Committee’s charge from the Selectmen, the working procedure and then committee findings.  Specific problem areas will be treated individually, starting with herd reduction.


Minority Report Procedure – Ms. Sesto distributed copies of the section on minority reports from Robert’s Rules of Order.  After reading them, members discussed their interpretations of how to receive and act on a minority report.  They tended to agree that a minority report should be accepted after the Committee report had been completed and that the executive summary should reference the existence of a minority report.  There was some discussion of the possibility of including portions of the minority report in the Committee report, which Ms. Thaxter strenuously opposed.


At the conclusion of the discussion, Ms. Sesto noted that some members exhibited discomfort concerning if and how the minority report should be referenced in the committee report and recommended waiting until the next meeting to finalize an agreement.  The membership supported that plan.


Mr. Venus thanked Mr. Sanders for agreeing to generate the final report.


Public Comment – A member of the public rose to scold the Committee on its discussion about handling a minority.  She observed that in a democracy, there will be differences of opinion and therefore a minority report should be expected.




The next meeting will be on June 27, 2005 in the Copper Beech Room of the Recreation Center.  Items expected on the agenda include review of the committee report as compiled by Jack Sanders and receipt of the minority report.




Ms. Sesto adjourned the meeting at 8:07 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,


Nancy McDaniel