Lacey City Council held its regular meeting last night and discussed multiple topics including the pending Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan and the city’s exclusive franchise agreement with Comcast.
It also approved the annexation of the "Serenity Carpenter" property and an ordinance that prohibits sales of commercially bred dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores.
Though an actual decision on the matter wasn’t slated to be made today, the council listened to a breakdown of what the contract renewal entailed. Senior Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Comcast, Hans Hechtman was present to answer questions councilmembers the Lacey contract. Mayor Andy Ryder asked if the new contract highlighted 5G capabilities in the city, to which Hechtman clarified that 5G is a separate technology altogether from what Comcast provides. A decision on the matter is expected at the next regular meeting, Feb. 11
Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan
Eight citizens participated in the meeting to give their opinions on the review of the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan which was developed by the Thurston Regional Planning Council over the past several years.
The plan details steps to help curb the effects Thurston County energy consumption is having on the climate of the world as a whole.
Lacey residents who called into the meeting were unanimously in favor of the plan.
Half of the eight went a step further and posited that the council declare a climate emergency in the city of Lacey.
Tish Levee, a former climate journalist in California, was one of many in attendance that urged the approval of the plan.“We are running out of time,” Levee said. “We basically don’t have any anymore.”
Though the motion to have the plan reviewed by the planning commission was moved and accepted, with only Councilmember Ed Kunkel opposing it, some members of the council expressed concerns regarding the plan and its realistic probability.
Councilmember Lenny Greenstein was one of the council members said, “I can’t support accepting the plan,” Greenstein said. “It’s just not ready.”
Greenstein shared concerns of a lack of evidence and sample size of Lacey residents that would lend themselves to him feeling better about accepting a plan for climate mitigation.
Puppy Mill Restrictions
Sarah Hock, executive director of the Joint Animal Services Commission, explained what the restriction of retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores entails.
Hock explained that, while the ordinance would help restrict the ability for pets bred from puppy mills to be sold by retailers, it does not take away the opportunity for people to purchase from eputable breeders who sell directly to the public.. Breeders tend to belong to breed-specific clubs and have a code of ethics that prevents them from selling their puppies or kittens in pet stores.
Hock also noted that the ordinance is preemptive, as it wouldn’t infringe on any businesses currently in Lacey. None of the pet stores in Lacey sell animals, so they would be unaffected by the ordinance.
“This will solely prohibit the retail sales of dogs and cats within pet stores,” Hock said. “Because the only puppies and kittens that are coming into these pet stores are directly transported from puppy mills in the midwest.”
Councilmember Malcolm Miller had concerns regarding the efficacy of the ordinance and whether it would prevent sales from puppy mills or would just push customers to shop in neighboring cities.
Hock stated that, with Olympia having already implemented the ordinance in February 2020, Tumwater also having the discussion to move forward with an ordinance, and an ordinance being considered by the county commissioners that would cover the unincorporated areas of Thurston County, the ordinance being put into place in Lacey is a necessary step in protecting Thurston County as a whole from puppy mills.