Many things have changed in Hay Beach in 50 years, but one thing has remained the same: People are concerned about the same three issues.
“Deer, water and ticks,” said Gordon Gooding, president of the Hay Beach Property Owner’s Association, giving the Town Board on Tuesday a brief presentation of a poll begun in January of all Hay Beach property owners. He said he gone through records from the 1960s and found those three concerns were utmost in the minds of residents and the same is true today.
About 40 percent of 108 association members had responded to the poll, citing tick-borne diseases as the most important issue facing their community, followed by deer management.
Right behind those concerns were property taxes and “irrigation/fresh water.”
An overwhelming majority of respondents were in favor of culling the deer herd, but were split on hiring professional sharpshooters to do the job.
Hay Beach property owners were marginally against spraying tickicides, but overwhelmingly in favor of the town’s 4-poster program, which uses permethrin to kill ticks.
Island resident Richard Kelly questioned the poll’s methodology, saying it was strange to hear of records from the 1960s since the only way into Hay Beach then was “by machete or boat.”
He also noted that in those days there were no deer in Hay Beach.
Mr. Gooding explained the polling sample and said he had gone through a stack of files and minutes from meetings and other records from years ago to make the comparison to today.