HELP! I have 60 seconds to convince commissioners

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by CluckyInKY, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    Our city commissioners will be voting on the chicken ordinance tomorrow evening. I will have 60 seconds to speak on why I'm in favor. Not sure what to say, other than them not being a nuisance. The general census of the commissioners is that people will start wanting to own other "farm" animals within city limits and they will cause neighbor complaints, the coops will be an eyesore, etc. Right now, no chickens are allowed within the city.
    Any suggestions on what to say? How can I convince these city slickers that these pets will not disturb our city?

    Side note: although I work in the city (pay taxes there) I do not live within the city limits, so my girls are totally legal. I'm hoping that I don't get brushed aside just because I'm not in the city commissioners' voting precincts.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Focus on the absurdity of their stance. In 60 seconds you can clearly state the space requirement for a chicken can not be compared to other livestock. An ordinance to allow up to six hens in a backyard does not give precedent for another person to have a pony. If the city has permit process for small structures (i.e. sheds, outbuildings) then that process would be the same for coops so proposal of how it is built and look would be pre-approved.

    Their two major points are so out of whack it tells you they already made up their minds on the matter. The next soap box will be need of funds raised for new city employees to run "poultry management". Again, that's wrong as they must already employ animal control and must already have permit process for outbuildings. It's already in place. Noise ordinance? already in place. Public health hazard? Already departments for that. The only thing they need to do is write up an ordinance and pass it. The lengthy time spent to copy and paste a proven poultry ordinance from nearby city should be manageable.

    Of course that could be another approach. Find nearby city that allows poultry. Call and ask the clerk and animal control how the ordinance and poultry situation has been working out. In sixty seconds hold up a copy of ordinance and restate testimony of that city's employees and how many years poultry have been allowed there. You've tomorrow to call those people and write down the positives/ neutral comments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
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  3. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your help! Most of these issues have been addressed by the person that is leading our pro-chicken committee. The commissioners have heard that chickens only need 4 sq ft of space. We have given them info from a neighboring city- 4 chicken complaints in 18 months. They said dog complaints were well over 2,000 in the same time span.
    One commissioner said that this is "old school" and we are trying to move our city forward. It seems as though the supporters of the ordinance are being looked at as back-woods, but we are all educated, contributing members to our society. I feel like I'm going to be talking to a brick wall tomorrow night.
     
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  4. jpalmatier83

    jpalmatier83 Out Of The Brooder

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    "Old school"? Lol, urban and suburban chicken "farming" as well as small backyard flocks is about as trendy as it gets right now... Particularly when you couple it with the farm to table movement. Totally making a comeback. People truly want a deeper connection to their food. Property rights are also making a resurgence. You could always present that one commissioner with the first 50 websites when you google backyard chickens.

    I've cited the slippery slope theory before in relation to other civic issues, but implying six chickens leads to two goats leads to a heard of cattle seems a bit asinine. I would think that the multitude of other townships allowing small (most likely six, with no Roos) backyard flocks, with no significant issues, would set enough of a precident.
     
  5. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 The truck is off my head now. Premium Member

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    I'm not in the city, nor have I gotten any experience with these types of matters...but being from a large working farm I am amazed and impressed with the beautiful coops and runs I've seen people post. I can only imagine that the "'ol farm coop" is what is in the commissioners minds when they think of chickens.

    On top of the fantastic points Egghead Jr has pointed out and the leg work your pro-chicken committee has already addressed, I would print out some examples of the beautiful clean coops/runs that there are. Pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words. Maybe the commissioners need to see how clean and beautiful city coops can be to believe it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Part of your 60 seconds could be that the problems many claim will happen never actually happen, and go on to back this up by stating that you are unaware of any local or national municipality that has struck a recently enacted backyard chicken ordnance once enacted due to the any of those problems arising...

    Oh and don't look at the clock, write out a speech on note cards with all the key notes that takes you 60 seconds to read, then feel free to add another 30 or 60 seconds worth of additional speech... Then just keep reading as if you are unaware of time after you read the first 60 seconds, just be polite and stop when and if they do cut you off....
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  7. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    I emailed this picture of my own coop (under construction) and explained that the backyard chicken owners take pride in their chickens & their coops.
    I actually JUST received an email back from one commissioner that wants to come see my setup TOMORROW before noon! This is a great sign!! Wish I had a little more time, so I could mow & weed eat, but hopefully he won't judge me for that! Haha
     
  8. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    60 seconds? Maybe the next town ordinance will only allow for incumbents to have 60 seconds to validate their existence on the board. I can hear the howling from here....

    Farm animals? How the frick do these fools think this nation was established? Every home had chickens, goats, pigs, etc., or they ceased to exist. There was no big box store to get your supplies from, no 7-11 across the street... Yes, that was a long time ago and we also live much closer to each other than ever before. Which means not knitting your own clothes, and respecting your neighbors with regards to smell and noise from "farm animals". Stereotypical NIMBYs.

    As others have stated, BYC are as trendy as it gets for these times. Maybe they would like "extra GMO" in their eggs, but no thanks for the rest of us. How about the well being of animals raised in a backyard vs a commercial setting? Show them a few pictures of that.... Maybe one of the "chick grinder" or the chicken compost pit. My favorite is the guy rolling the wheel barrow through the chicken "coop" while picking up dead chickens from overcrowding. It's so packed that he picks up the dead ones from side to side, and the ones he's had to trample just to get through the fray.

    And my favorite: "Old School". You have got to kidding me! What is "progressive" or "new school"? Ticket vouchers at your local government run supermarket for your daily allotment of eggs and bread? "Forward thinking" will leave the past behind. 1930's Germany was not that long ago, all but erased from our children's history books. What a great time for those people....

    I'm done, sorry for the crazy.

    I'm sure none of this helps, but maybe you can gleen something from it.

    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    We fought an uphill battle Tuesday night. We have 4 commissioners and our mayor that get to vote on new ordinances. We had the mayor and one commissioner as for-sure "yes" votes, 2 commissioners are "no" votes (and that won't change), the last commissioner has gone back and forth- first, he liked the idea, and then he said one of the "no" comm talked to him privately and raised concern. This commissioner is angry that we are trying to get this ordinance passed and an ordinance regarding equal rights wasn't passed LAST YEAR. She said if we don't care about people, we shouldn't care about chickens. I'm not sure how equal rights relate to chicken ownership, but okay. Lol
    Anyway... We were getting ready to get shut down with 3 (no) and 2 (yes) votes. The mayor suggested adding a "sunset" clause, where the ordinance would expire after a year & will be reevaluated before voting on a permanent ordinance. The commissioner that was wishy washy had financial concerns- that we would need extra city employees to handle complaints... Eventhough, a similar sized city one hour away has only had 5 complaints in 18 months.
    The change in the ordinance itself had to be voted upon- where we got 3 yes votes, 2 no! They have to wait until the next city meeting to vote on the (new) ordinance, so hopefully the swing vote will stay on our side.
     
  10. jpalmatier83

    jpalmatier83 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good luck!!! If you can get a temporary ordinance through I'm sure your girls records will speak for themselves when this comes back up next year :)
     

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