Cape Friends of Wildlife organizes to oppose council's deer hunting vote

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Cape Girardeau City Manager Scott Meyer, left, mayor Harry Rediger, and councilwoman Loretta Schneider listen as councilman John Voss comments on the concerns voiced about urban deer hunting from some of the city's citizens Monday night, July 16, 2012 at City Hall. The council passed the urban deer hunting ordinance with a 4-3 vote. (Laura Simon)

The Cape Girardeau City Council has had its say. Now the group that opposes allowing urban deer hunting wants to go about the work of giving voters theirs.

Cape Friends of Wildlife has scheduled an organizational meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cape Girardeau Public Library, 711 N. Clark Ave. The meeting will focus on beginning a petition drive with the goal of putting the issue before voters to strike down the ordinance. As it is, the municipal ordinance will become law in nine days and the archery program is expected to be up and running this fall.

According to the city charter, initiative petitions must contain the signatures of at least 10 percent of the number of voters registered in the last general election. Those who sign must be city residents and registered voters. After the signatures are collected and turned in, the city clerk has 20 days to certify the signatures. At the point the signatures are deemed sufficient, the ordinance in question would have to be suspended, the charter says.

Also, the council is to "promptly" consider the proposed initiative ordinance, in this case to ban hunting in the city limits. If the council fails to adopt the initiative ordinance without any change in substance within 60 days or fails to repeal the referred ordinance within 30 days after the date the petition was certified, the council is to submit the matter to voters.

The vote is not to be held less than 30 days and no more than 120 days from the date of the council's last action on the issue.

The group has said it is confident it will be able to get enough legitimate signatures, which would be about 2,400. If Cape Friends of Wildlife is successful, it will mark only the second time in the history of the city's 30-year-old charter that an initiative petition has resulted in a citywide vote. The first was 2011's ballot issue to ban smoking in public places, which voters narrowly defeated.

Pertinent address:

711 N. Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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