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Outcome at Last Night's Public Forum in Winder, GA

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by countrychickengirl, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. countrychickengirl

    countrychickengirl The Delaware Project

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Winder
    Last night in Winder, GA the city council held a public forum to hear from the people about the possibility of allowing a few hens in the city limits. My husband and I have spent the last 6 months going to meetings, granting radio interviews and newspaper interviews and lots of time doing research, etc. I felt really good going in to the meeting last night as I had spoken to my councilman, Sonny Morris and he led me to believe he was in favor of this change. Other members of the council gave the same impression. In support of chickens was my husband and me and there were 2 in opposition. WE LOST!!!!

    Somehow, in a matter of weeks, EVERY SINGLE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER changed their views on this issue and left me and my husband with the impression that they did not WANT to put any energy into what would be required to ammend the current ordinance. They laughed and ribbed at each other about chickens and were operating on FALSE information and were further SPREADING this information. They could not even AGREE on the time frame that we have to get RID of our pets. When asked how this would be enforced, one member made a comment that the people that (the council) knew had chickens would have to get rid of them and those that they did not know about could KEEP ON KEEPING ON!!!!

    I have never felt more DISRESPECTED than I did last night and I am completely DISGUSTED with the way council handled this issue!

    Sorry for the rant, but I wanted to update everyone on this decision and further ENCOURAGE all chicken OWNERS/LOVERS/SUPPORTERS to get out there and do EVERYTHING you can to keep this alive in the SMALL cities as well as the LARGE cities!
     

  2. peep-a-boo

    peep-a-boo In the Brooder

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    Dec 21, 2010
    Dripping Springs, TX
    Oh man, I'm so sorry! Those who you talked to and seemed to agree with you sound like cowards. If they weren't on board with the idea, then why play along? I've never dealt with City Council, but can you try again? How the vote goes depends on who shows up, right? If not, maybe you can park your flock with a friend for awhile and then bring them back. Good luck.

    FYI, I don't own any - they're not allowed where I live. I'm trying to change the governing documents to allow them in my subdivision.
     
  3. Woodcutterron

    Woodcutterron Songster

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    Mar 3, 2010
    West Point .
    Oh yea, heheh. I think I may have talked to you on another forum about this already, but the issue isn't even remotely over if ya don't want it to be.
     
  4. onecent

    onecent Songster

    I'm very sorry for you too! I also went through basically the same thing, I thought sure i was gonna win, then bam........I lost! I'm still trying to figure out how i can redo this loss, or appeal it, its been over a year now, I just don't know how to go about it??? & i miss my birds so bad!!

    I was using google & just found this article on my city council struggle wow! did they tell some tall tales!



    In an issue initially brought before Council as a public comment, Council defeated a measure to amend city ordinance prohibiting the raising and maintenance of chickens within city limits. At last month’s work session, Councilwoman Suetta Scarbrough requested City Manager Paul Sabiston contact officials in Wake Forest, Rocky Mount and Henderson, which allow chickens within city limits.

    Sabiston did so and detailed his findings in a memo to City Council. In one particular highlight, Sabiston told Council the code enforcement official in Henderson to whom he spoke felt “many of the urban chicken owners seemed to live in more distressed neighborhoods and the care of the confined areas where the chickens were kept was poor.” He added none of the jurisdictions required the chickens to be vaccinated annually.

    According to Sabiston, this led to exploration of the disease aspect of housing chickens. “Our Planning Director (Amanda Jarratt) made a call to the (North Carolina) Department of Agriculture and she (the doctor at N.C. Dept. of Agriculture) was less than enamored of the idea of urban chickens.” In his memo, Sabiston pointed out poultry farmers “must vaccinate their chickens in order to survive because certain diseases can infect and kill thousands of chickens, an individual chicken farmer in an urban setting is less likely to spend the money and time to have his chickens vaccinated on a regular basis. Thus, the urban chickens are more prone to become infected with diseases that may be spread not only to other animals, but also to humans.” Sabiston added, “the potential to expose the public to otherwise avoidable diseases is significant with the introduction of urban chickens into our environment.”

    Mayor Doughtie applauded the work done by Sabiston and Jarratt, and Scarbrough said their work had swayed her.

    “After receiving your report,” Scarbrough said, “I also realized Miss (Penny Avent, who brought the issue before Council initially) would be an exception to what would happen if we were to allow chickens in the city limits.

    Because Avent had asked Council for a change to existing ordinance, it was not necessary for Council to actually vote on the issue unless they were changing the ordinance. When Doughtie asked for a motion, Council made none and the issue ended there.

    “If I were to come back to this world as a chicken,” Doughtie told Avent after the issue concluded, “I would like to come to your house. We have a duty to all the citizens and I think we made a good decision on behalf of the people of Roanoke Rapids.”
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  5. Woodcutterron

    Woodcutterron Songster

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    Mar 3, 2010
    West Point .
    Actually, it's never over. All ya have to do is get put on the agenda at any council or commission meeting, and make your case for allowing chickens. While at first it's nice to be polite, more often than not, most members of local governments are pretty much predisposed to not allow chickens. Of course almost all of their rationale is based an myths, misconceptions, and chicken little-style fears about property values and disease and odor and such. If they won't listen to reason . . .well . . .that's when you stop playing nice, get agressive, and don't be afraid to blatantly twist some arm.

    This is counter-intuitive to most people, who tend to go with the old saying "Ya catch more flies with sugar than vinegar" That's actually not bad advice when discussing something with a family member, a neighbor, or even a store clerk, but politics is a whole different ball game. Nice guys really do finish last in politics, unless the council likes the idea in the first place.

    You can actually make an ironclad case for keeping chickens . . .and then one single moron stands up, makes an objection that only fifteen minutes before, you clearly put to rest . . . . and the council rules against you, since all they were looking for was an excuse to say no anyway. Am I "generalizing" when I talk about most councils/commissions being in reality a bunch of mini-dictators who think they are actually the "bosses" of city or county residents? Of course I am. But it's an accurate generalization that is spot-on for about 99 out of a hundred town and counties.

    But the reality is, we citizens really shouldn't be in there begging and hoping they'll see things our way. If they already have an opinion they'll listen to ya for a bit, claim to "feel for ya" and "understand where you're coming from" . . .and then rule against you.
    What ya do is go in there and tell them that it's time for them to change the ordinance, you plan on making that happen, their resistance is simply not acceptable, and if they interfere, there will be repercussions. Ya don't do it angrily or passionately. If we let our emotions go, we just end up looking like kooks if there is any media coverage there. Make no mistake, the media can be our best tool. But they aren't there for chickens, they are there to get a story. And you might make the finest, fact-filled, myth-busting argument for keeping chickens ever made. But if ya 'lose it' for a second, they'll show 8 seconds of us screeching teary-eyed as we slam our paperwork on the podium in frustration. And leave your articulate and informed stuff on the cutting room floor for the 6 O' clock news.

    Maintaining a forceful, businesslike, even humorous tone, meeting, after meeting, can win the day. Don't tolerate rude actions or comments from the council. What I do if one interrupts me with a stupid statement or question Is address it, then declare (don't ask) that you will now be taking an extra thirty seconds of time since they interrupted you. If they tell you that you can't do that . . .say nothing, but do it anyway. If they get forceful and the marshal at arms or whatever starts walking up to physically remove you, make them get within ten feet of you, then turn around and step down on your own. If there are cameras there, it makes the COUNCIL look like the goats. We gotta maintain dignity, but also make sure they know that YOU know they are not the bosses. They work for you.

    Show up at the work sessions. Write letters to the editor. We as Americans need to get back to the reality that we are NOT subservient to elected officials. Elected Officials should be thanked only twice in their tenure. "Thank you for running for office" if you voted for them . . .and then not again until they leave the position . . . . ."thank you for your service" . . .but only if they served well.

    Folks say being a politician is a thankless job . . .well good . . .it's supposed to be.

    Again, and I can't reiterate this enough: It is NEVER over. The very next meeting after an anti-chicken . . . or any ordinance for that matter is enacted, people who don't like it can start pushing to have it changed.
     
  6. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Quote:WOW! Now that was worth me copying, pasting and saving for future reference. I love your attitude!
     
  7. Woodcutterron

    Woodcutterron Songster

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    Mar 3, 2010
    West Point .
    Quote:Can't help but wonder how many folks Sabiston and Jarratt had to call before they found what they were looking for: Any reason to deny folks their right to liberty and use of their own property in a reasonable manner. I don't know the public record policies in your state, but here in Georgia I' can file a request for pubic information, get the phone records, and enlighten myself with who else they might have called who had a different opinion.

    I've discussed this sleazy political tactic before on another forum, it happens a lot. They should have asked that Agriculture professor how many damaging outbreaks of a serious avian disease have been traced back to a backyard flock in this country (answer: None) and how many have been traced back to commercial poultry interests (Answer: Three I think, maybe four.)

    Further, how many people in the state have caught diseases from contact with cats or dogs? Now how about chickens? Anyone ever caught rabies from a chicken around here? How about a cat? a dog? How about Subacute regional lymphadenitis (cat scratch fever) . . .ever hear of "chicken scratch fever?" Neither have I.

    "Mr. Councilman, how about getting that Agriculture Professor on speakerphone, I have a few questions for her myself!"

    Left-field, far-fetched concerns about something that has never happened . . . is not a valid reason to deny people their civil liberties.
     

  8. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Quote:Can't help but wonder how many folks Sabiston and Jarratt had to call before they found what they were looking for: Any reason to deny folks their right to liberty and use of their own property in a reasonable manner. I don't know the public record policies in your state, but here in Georgia I' can file a request for pubic information, get the phone records, and enlighten myself with who else they might have called who had a different opinion.

    I've discussed this sleazy political tactic before on another forum, it happens a lot. They should have asked that Agriculture professor how many damaging outbreaks of a serious avian disease have been traced back to a backyard flock in this country (answer: None) and how many have been traced back to commercial poultry interests (Answer: Three I think, maybe four.)

    Further, how many people in the state have caught diseases from contact with cats or dogs? Now how about chickens? Anyone ever caught rabies from a chicken around here? How about a cat? a dog? How about Subacute regional lymphadenitis (cat scratch fever) . . .ever hear of "chicken scratch fever?" Neither have I.

    "Mr. Councilman, how about getting that Agriculture Professor on speakerphone, I have a few questions for her myself!"

    Left-field, far-fetched concerns about something that has never happened . . . is not a valid reason to deny people their civil liberties.

    Keep it coming. This is good stuff
     
  9. Woodcutterron

    Woodcutterron Songster

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    Mar 3, 2010
    West Point .
    Quote:Thanks. Most local public officials around here don't care for me. But hey . . . they try to avoid ruffling my feathers nowadays too. "Relentless" works.[​IMG]
     
  10. onecent

    onecent Songster

    Oh, they were so ready for me, when i went for the final decision, i was not allowed to speak, i had to listen to all that garbage, so i couldn't do a rebuttal, more or less it was case closed for me, so, do i go back before them, or wait for new council members & city manager, I'm trying to find people who want chickens there are people who have them "underground' but don't want to be found out & risk losing their birds, cant blame them, i could do the same, but they would probably hang me if i got caught... I'm so frustrated.....
     

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