EDGEWATER, N.J. -- Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland on Friday called media coverage of protests against the borough's gassing of Canada geese "pathetic."
Daily Voice phoned McPartland after a representative of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey brought a letter to Borough Hall offering to buy out Edgewater's geese population-control contract with the federal government.
"I have no interest and no comment," the mayor said. "I'm in the middle of something right now. I'm not interested.
"I've been through this all week," McPartland added. "You guys go on and on [with this] trying to sell newspapers. It's pathetic."
In their letter, officials with the Animal Protection League offered to immediately cut a $5,999 check that they said they believe is Edgewater's portion of a population-control contract that the USDA's Wildlife Services has with 70 or so municipalities and public agencies.
They said they're also "prepared to coordinate and carry out needed landscaping changes with the result of deterring geese."
This includes buying shrubs, fences and other barriers, while adding signs to discourage people from feeding the geese, APL Executive Director Angi Metler and Wildlife Policy DIrector Susan Russell wrote in a letter to McPartland.
"The above actions will result in dissuading Canada geese from targeted areas without resorting to gassing the birds," they emphasized.
Doreen Frega of the APL delivered the letter to Borough Hall Friday morning. McPartland wasn't there, but a secretary for Borough Administrator Gregory Franz said he would accept it.
Edgewater is in the fourth year of its contract, which Franz said involves coating goose eggs so they don't hatch, removing nests and rounding up and euthanizes the birds.
A petition drive demands that borough officials break the contract and instead "employ effective nonlethal, humane methods" to treat Edgewater's growing geese problem.
Metler, who has joined protesters at demonstrations in town, said there are a variety of alternatives -- such as habitat modification, instituting and enforcing public feeding bans and employing mechanical scare devices, flags and noise.
"All of the alternative methods we have attempted to do through the years," Franz responded. "Some of them worked for a period of time and the geese get used to it.
"We recognize that we have a problem," he said. "Many people come to the Hudson waterfront walkway and feed the geese."
Another protest was scheduled for Saturday.