Mayoral candidate Barbara Lampert is lucky Spokane's famous yellow-bellied marmots don't vote.
At the first significant mayoral debate of the election season, Lampert listed controlling Spokane's varmint population among her priorities.
"Varmints bring disease," Lampert said Tuesday at the forum sponsored by the nonprofit group Sustainable Resources INW. "Let's create a city plan to control pests and rodents."
Lampert said in an interview on Wednesday that the city needs to reduce the population of squirrels, crows, marmots, skunks and potentially other rodents and animals.
"Children are being dive-bombed by crows. Children are being bitten by squirrels," she said. "I don't think it's right in civilization for pests to have the upper hand."
She said she prefers extermination to other ways of removing animals, such as trap and release. One possibility, she said, is creating a bounty on squirrels.
"When the population of human beings gets too much, we create another war and we kill off the men who are at the best time of their lives" to reproduce, said Lampert, who does not approve of using war as a way to control the human population. "We should control our animal populations before we start working on the human ones."
(CAPTION FOR ABOVE PHOTO: Spokane mayoral candidates, from left, Mike Noder, David Condon, Barbara Lampert and incumbent Mary Verner gather at the Community Building, June 28, 2011 to debate environmental issues. Photo by DAN PELLE firstname.lastname@example.org)