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La Mesa City Councilwoman Vows to Help Legalize Ferrets

La Mesa City Councilwoman Kristine Alessio

La Mesa City Councilman Bill Baber

City Councilwoman Kristine Alessio delighted us at our July 15th party by promising to help legalize ferrets. She has been discussing the issue with Assemblymen Todd Gloria and Randy Voepel, hoping to convince either or both to introduce ferret legalization legislation, but without much luck. Even though ferret legalization seems like a no-brainer, it just isn’t seen as a serious issue.

But the effort to make La Mesa a Ferret Sanctuary City builds steam. Surely a ridiculous concept but one with a huge symbolic value which could prompt a legislator to take up our cause. And surprisingly, we could be getting close.

What we know – Kristine Alessio would vote “Yes”

Bill Baber would probably vote “Yes” but he is more of a pragmatist.

Three other members on the city council – only one Democrat, Colin Parent.

Kristine and Bill are the only pet owners on the city council and that makes a big difference in one’s perception of the issue. Colin Parent is the Democrat’s only member on the council. I think he would have a hard time voting against the wishes of ordinary people who want to have a pet legal in 48 states and one where no one is defending the ban on the grounds that ferrets pose any kind of threat. I just don’t see a Democrat letting Republicans being the only advocates for “the little guy.”

I’m not familiar with the two other members, Vice Mayor Guy McWhirter or Mayor Mark Arapostathis. We’ll work on them after we secure three votes.

If this makes the agenda I know I can put up a very convincing presentation. I will need as many ferret lovers as possible holding up signs. Stay tuned. We’re going to have lots of fun with this one!

Asking La Mesa, CA to be the Very First Ferret Sanctuary City

On Thursday (June 8th, 2017) I dropped off five large envelopes addressed to each member of the La Mesa city council. Here is the cover letter.

Since the Fish and Game President admits that they all know ferrets are domestic animals but they can’t move forward with de-listing them from the prohibited species list – this is a great way to get the discussion going.

And if we can actually get people to discuss ferrets we’ve already won. Each time it moves the argument further.

It’s only been a couple of days and no response. My neighbor is on the city council, I’ve called him and emailed him last week and haven’t heard anything. But let me give this another week and if we don’t hear anything I’ll ask for a little help from our members to generate some enthusiasm for this effort.

Here’s the Scoop on Fish and Game

May 3rd, 2017

I had a phone conversation with Eric Sklar, the President of the Fish and Game Commission.

He explained that their hands are tied on ferrets because it would require a full-blown EIR.  He said (and I think he meant this unofficially) that we would have to pay $200,000 but when all finished it would be $600,000.

And afterwards the Commission would be sued by environmental groups opposing it. (Is he calling the California Waterfowl Assoc an Environmental group).

He said that is a position that neither they nor us wish to be in.

Our best option he said is to find a legislator. I explained the past futility of our efforts.

But if the Fish and Game Commission gives us a nudge, I’m going to predict success.

I asked him to write a letter explaining to legislators that this is the only way forward.  He seems like he wants to do this and will check with his staff.

I will contact him in one week seeing if we get this favor.

Keep in mind, in past legislative efforts Fish and Game opposed us.  This time around we would expect some support on their end.

I appreciate Mr. Sklar’s time and opinion, not to mention his willingness to work with us.

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