Letter to the Editor: Duck Hunting Ban Not Enforceable, Resident Says
Park resident, waterfowl hunter believes the city's recent ban on hunting within half a mile of the shoreline is not enforceable and the Pointes need to evaluate how they are using their resources.
On Oct. 24, the Grosse Pointe Park City Council passed a ban on waterfowl hunting within a half-mile of the city’s waterfront parks. The City Council failed to mention that they were going to vote on this ordinance in the meeting agenda published on October 21, which makes me question how much thought and deliberation was expended in this process. It also raises serious questions about the transparency involved in the local governance process.
The above is not what concerns me most. What concerns me the most is that this ordinance is most-likely unenforceable owed to the fact that because a municipality has questionable authority over waterways, and under state law, municipalities cannot regulate hunting or fishing on state waters.
By passing this ordinance, the city is inviting legal battles over their authority to regulate waterways in which they are adjacent to. This litigation will cost a considerable amount of money in attorney fees at a time when our whole country is struggling under anemic economic growth.
Additionally, I see no reason why this step is necessary. I, as an avid waterfowl hunter, am admittedly biased to liberal interpretation of hunting laws but was completely unaware of any public safety threat posed by the responsible and law-abiding actions of waterfowl hunters on Lake St. Clair.
Consequently, we now have an unenforceable and unneeded law on the books that serves no purpose other than to deter law-abiding citizens from enjoying one of the Grosse Pointes’ greatest features for a few weeks of the year -- all while inviting hefty legal fees to address a non-existent problem.
It is not in my nature to criticize without offering solutions. So given the council’s exuberance to engage in fighting Michigan State laws, I would suggest instead that the councils of Grosse Pointe pool their resources to create a committee of elected officials to see how we can fight the influx of students into our school system, who’s funding is heavily augmented by Grosse Pointe tax revenues.
Last year, the Grosse Pointe Public School System reported they received $108.9 million in total revenue, of which $56.3 million came from the State of Michigan and $30.0 million came from property taxes here. The remaining funds came from federal grants and other sources.
Secondly, if preventing our taxpayers from being used as an ATM by the state to subsidize failing and mismanaged schools elsewhere is too extreme for you, the council could try to recruit some of the 3,000 professionals who work for Quicken Loans and are moving to offices in Detroit to come and live in Grosse Pointe.
Grosse Pointe’s health has always been tied to two things: the public schools and the overall vibrancy of the Southeast Michigan economy. We simply cannot afford these two drivers of our community to be struggling at once.
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230