Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wellsville: "Stray cat" story strikes nerve with one homeowner

Note: We received an e-mail from a village of Wellsville homeowner regarding our story on the 'stray cat' problem in Wellsville. The writer asked not to be identified. He's a 'private' person he said. That typically sends off a red flag. So, with due diligence, we confirmed that this letter was from an actual person, who indeed resides in the village. We listened to the 'complaint.' We agree that some people have legitimate concerns but are uncomfortable in the spotlight. It doesn't make their concern any less valid. Village Trustee Jamie Herman does deserve some credit for acknowledging a potential problem and agreeing to dive deeper into it. RNN did express that to the letter-writer, who, while begrudgingly admitted some progress based on Herman's statements, asked for more serious efforts.
With permission, here is his email:
Dear Regional News-

I’m not a public person. I don’t want headlines. However, your story on the cat problem in the village of Wellsville hit home with me. I have a low-wage job in Wellsville, but I’m proud to be working. I work hard. I try to keep my property decent. I shovel the sidewalk in the winter. I keep things proper in the summer. Long story short, I’m sick and tired of the stray cats wandering the village. My car has been damaged. My property has been destroyed and I am constantly ‘cleaning up messes.’ I find it unacceptable that the village board says “not our problem.” I find it unacceptable that when it wants to, they can find money for things, but not others. All across the news, communities are upset with stray cats and the problems they bring…yet, as a taxpayer, I’m just supposed to ‘be fine with it.’ I’m not fine with it. I read that Jamie Herman said he would investigate. Then please, investigate. Then develop a solution. Please don’t say, ‘not our problem.’ I vote. I’m responsible (or try to be) and I’m just asking the village to get serious about a problem. I don’t understand the whole government process and I’d bet most villagers don’t. And so I send this message asking for help. It’s not an insignificant problem. Stop treating it like it doesn’t matter. Village Board members…YOU chose to seek public office and YOU said you wanted things better here…Were you speaking honestly?

In conclusion, I understand there are major issues you deal with daily. But…this is a serious quality of life issue. If I had money, I’d relocate. But I don’t. My family will live here and I just want someone in power to care.
Here is the comment he posted to our story:

Dear Village Board: The cat problem in the village is serious. How dare you say it's not a village board problem...Events that occur in the village should rise to the level of the village board. Stop saying, "nothing we can do, nothing we can do." How 'bout I drop some of these 'sweet' kitty's on YOUR property...let them damage YOUR car and property. I bet you would suddenly get concerned. I understand $$ is tight. I understand you have no animal control...neither does the town...neither does the SPCA. As the fire department says, "deeds, not words." You have money to save the Burrous building. You have money to buy new equipment and hire new people. You seem to 'find' the money when you want to. I guess as a low-wage worker, I don't have the influence that's needed. I work hard...I try to keep my property nice...I follow the rules...then you say, ehh...