Kent citizens discuss marijuana legalization, stray cats at city council meeting

Elizabeth Randolph

Kent citizens spoke to City Council at a public hearing before the council meeting Wednesday about public opinion on the legalization of marijuana and stray cats in the city.

Kent State chemical physics professor Elda Hegmann asked the committee to support her petition to Trap, Neuter and Release, or TNR, cats.

“The idea to trap and kill stray cats has been failing for decades,” she said. “I propose a low-volume clinic to come to Kent in order to find a solution to this problem that is both humane and effective.”

Ward 5 council member Heidi Shaffer proposed the committee support Hegmann’s proposal.

“It’s a humane way to do things, and programs like this already exist in other places,” she said. “It would give us [the committee] an opportunity to be leaders.”

Council-at-large member Roger Sidoti also spoke about the possibility that Kent community members may come to council meetings to address the legalization of marijuana.

“University towns are high-value markets,” he said about the issue. “It’s not a quality-of-life issue in the town. We have a hard enough time keeping young people on the right track.”

City council meetings will take place at the Kent Fire Department over the next three years as its permanent location is renovated. Ward 1 council member Garret Ferrara said the renovation will further reflect Kent’s city expansion.

“We’ve [city of Kent] succeeded in the past and continue to succeed,” he said. “When you look at how far we’ve come, it’s not hard to draw parallels of where we’ll be.”

Contact Elizabeth Randolph at [email protected].