Princeton residents are not allowed to make anonymous complaints to town hall about their neighbours feeding deer, causing most urban deer-feeders to go unreported.
When someone complains about a neighbour, confidentiality is vitally important.
I have been told bylaw officers will never let the perpetrator know who told on them, but that’s not the point.
In a small town like Princeton, most people know each other. Many people dealing with the complaint report will likely know both parties involved.
There’s no way the town can ensure the name of the person complaining won’t get out.
Most people don’t want their neighbour to know they reported them, especially since a fine may be involved.
There has been a lot controversy about Princeton’s urban deer population lately. Many people think the deer shouldn’t be in town.
Feeding deer causes them to hang around. Why wouldn’t they want readily available food, especially in the winter?
People feed the deer because they like to see them, feel sorry for them, think they are doing a good deed or because they’re cute.
But really they’re harming the deer. By feeding deer, they cause them to rely on humans and not want to leave town.
This could lead to a cull, like it has in other B.C. communities.
Princeton town hall should make it as easy as possible to report people feeding urban deer.
I understand why they think a person’s name is required when making a complaint. It’s for their records and to decrease the likelihood of people making false accusations.
But there must be a way around this.
Bylaw officers can’t be everywhere at once. The chances of them catching someone feeding deer is very slim.
They rely on residents to give them information – a process town hall is not encouraging by requiring people to give their full names.