What goes around comes around. This is a saying I have both heard and believed most of my life.
Having a positive solution come full circle can at times be incredibly satisfying. At other times having the same problem come around yet again can be endlessly frustrating.
The issue of the City of Bremerton’s problems with raccoons has come full circle for me this week. It has taken four years for that circle to come around, but by gosh here it is, again.
In 2010, I had just begun to write my weekly columns for Sound Publishing. In the first dozen of these columns was a tongue in cheek piece about raccoon gang activity in my neighborhood and the affects it had on my family and property. (www.bremertonpatriot.com/opinion, March 12, 2010)
That particular column got some attention at the city level and I had conversations then and again over the years with various elected officials about this issue. Everyone acknowledged that it was a multi-layered problem without an easy solution.
In the four years since I originally wrote about the raccoon gang, my family, my property, my sleep and my pets have continued to suffer despite taking my own advice and putting up precautions or removing as many of the temptations as possible from my house and property.
These urban raccoons are extremely bold and aggressive. More than once they have stalked me when I have gone outside to take out the garbage or get something from my car.
They have charged after my husband numerous times on his UPS route. Having been bitten by a dog this past year, it is still the raccoons coming after him that scare him and me even more.
In this particular instance, I do happen to agree with Mayor Patty Lent. The point of contact at the city for this issue should not be the Department of Community Development (DCD) code enforcement officer.
That particular plate has enough on it right now with the implantation this past year of an increased focus of code enforcement on blighted and abandoned properties. Rats, mice and raccoons are drawn to these trashed and abandoned properties.
By increasing the enforcement, incentive and fees collected to clean them up DCD is already doing their part to assist with this issue. To simply plop the entire burden on code enforcement staff at this point in time is just another short term, knee-jerk decision to a long and complicated problem.
If DCD really wants to solve some problems and enforce some rules over what already does fall under their jurisdiction I suggest that they start with the contractor for the bank project in East Bremerton whose construction vehicles are constantly blocking the Kitsap Transit buses.
Vehicles and project material placement that is at times hindering the Kitsap Transit buses ability to get in and out of the transfer station on time while accommodating the various and at times limited abilities of their passengers.
The problem of raccoons has been around for a long time and will be a rather large circle to close with a long term solution.
For a start, I agree with the approval of the contract between the city and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some much needed assessment and perspective from an organization experienced in wildlife management of this type is needed and welcomed.
Once that information is received and reviewed additional steps or changes in the compliance and eradication process can move forward.