Council wants to discuss cats, taxes

An out of control number of cats and a public safety tax — these two items were both requested to be placed on a future agenda of the city council.

Members of Susanville’s City Council can request to add items to a future meeting’s agenda if they wish. During the May 15 meeting two of the councilmembers brought forth their ideas with city staff.

Councilmember Mendy Schuster told staff, “So I want to talk about cats. Our policy doesn’t have a limit on (the number of) cats a household can have. However it does have one for dogs.”

Schuster detailed the problem of neighborhoods where there were homes with more than a dozen cats on the property. Schuster wanted to take care of the problem that she noted was “out of hand.”

City administrator Mike Wilson noted that there were specific case decisions with cats being determined as “free spirits” rather than “domestic animals,” but that staff would continue to evaluate and pursue it further.

Mayor pro tem Joseph Franco spoke up to staff, saying, “Even more of a problem are people feeding the feral cats. Cause you have to see them suffer and they’re not in the best health sometimes. And it exacerbates the problem in that they’re typically not neutered … and they tend to breed prolifically.”

Councilmember Brian Moore also gave his recommendation to staff if they could add to the special budget meeting, May 23, if they could add the starting discussions on a public safety tax.