Given the uptick in community interest about the coyote population in the City, the City Council provided several directives on how the City approaches coyotes:
- Councilmember Menchaca started the discussion by inquiring what constitutes the need to trap a coyote, noting an incident that took place at Coolidge Elementary School last year. City Manager Mark Lazzaretto responded that hazing attempts were made, and that the coyote still posed an immediate threat to the school. The coyote was eventually trapped at the perimeter of the school, and was euthanized per California state law.
- Lazzaretto also made a point to note that staff did not view trapping as an effective way to reduce the coyote population, and that this specific case posed a threat to the school. Menchaca suggested hiring experts rather than trappers to evaluate future cases, and to explore the possibility of holding workshops and community meetings.
- Councilmember Constanzo questioned the effectiveness of preventative measures (such as hazing, trimming vegetation, and eliminating outdoor food sources), and suggested the City explore partnerships with neighboring cities to develop a humane solution that can help address the community’s concerns.
- Councilmember Pu concurred with Councilmember Menchaca, suggesting that a wildlife expert study why several localized areas are targeted over others, asking “if they seem to be increasing in number and growing more aggressive, what are we doing or not doing that is potentially making this problem worse for ourselves?”
- During the meeting, Mayor Harrington emphasized that there is consensus on the City Council, and that we should employ experts to conduct a holistic study of the coyote population in the community.