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Indy Council Fails To Override Veto On Firearm Approval

Indiana’s high-fenced deer hunting industry has been in the midst of a lawsuit for nearly a decade.

The Indianapolis City-County Council failed to override a mayoral veto on the issue of firing guns in parks for the purpose of deer culls.

Last week Mayor Greg Ballard vetoed the proposal which would have required council approval before discharging firearms in city parks.

Before that proposal, only the city's Parks and Recreation Board needed to approve the action which led to the culling of deer at Eagle Creek Park on Thanksgiving weekend.

The council needed 20 votes to override the veto. The motion to override the veto failed on a 16-13 vote.

Many councilors pointed to a lack of communication between the Parks Board and the public on the deer hunt issue.

Republican Councilor Janice McHenry said that issue was just one on which the public and the council was not properly kept up-to-date.

"The Councilor who's district an item affects should be made aware of what is going on before there is any other action taken," McHenry said. "They should not be hearing about it from a constituent or reading about it in the paper."

Democratic Councilor John Barth said many people didn't get the chance to voice their opinion on the deer hunt issue before a decision was made.

"I think it's important that, especially in something as emotionally charged as this, we do a really good job of listening to our constituents and giving them the opportunity for meaningful feedback. And I just don't think that happened in this situation," Barth said.

In his veto Mayor Ballard said the council does participate in the decisions of the Parks Board by virtue of their two appointees.

Councilor McHenry countered by saying once those people are appointed, the council doesn't seem to hear from them.

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