The Township Committee gave initial approval Tuesday night to a program that would seek to catch and spay or neuter stray, or "feral" cats, and return them to the streets.
But the program, which would also ban feeding stray cats and set up hefty fines, did not receive unanimous approval as Committeeman Marlon Brownlee strongly objected and questioned its effectiveness.
The TC voted, 4-1, for approval on first reading. It will be voted on again on Nov. 5.
"I was skeptical at best," Brownlee said about his first reaction, later adding it was "well meaning, but misguided."
The program would be instituted as a three-year pilot plan and be overseen by the group, Furry Hearts.
Brownlee's objection centered in part on the lack of data or a goal to ensure how many stray cats would be removed. He also disagreed with the idea of retuning them to the streets.
"At the end of the day, if we enact this ordinance what we will essentially have done is pass on ordinance to give a select group a license to feed stray cats," Brownlee said.
Committee Member India Larrier, who sponsored the measure, disagreed, stating, "I see very good things out of this."
The remaining three members also offered questions, but ended up approving the ordinance.
"I am willing to go for a three-year pilot to see if something else can work," Mayor Vic De Luca said, citing his own local situation with a neighbor who feeds stray cats. "I am not opposed to euthanizing cats, stray cats, but I am also willing to try this program to see if there is a different way to solve the problem."