Letter to Editor: 'Chicken ordinance? Forget about it!'
The possibility for disease and the inability to enforce an ordinance allowing raising chickens in the city leaves one Port Washington resident concerned.
Editor's Note: The following letter was submitted to Patch via e-mail. If you'd like to submit a letter to the editor, please e-mail Local Editor Lyssa Beyer at Lyssa.Beyer@patch.com.
I am dismayed that the Common Council continues to consider allowing the raising of chickens within the city limits of Port Washington. It seems like a basic step backward, back to the small town, agrarian roots of the community.
A few people would like to have fresh eggs. I'd like to have fresh milk with my breakfast cereal. Will you change the existing ordinances so that I can have a cow in my backyard for fresh milk? Perhaps you will allow me to raise and slaughter a pig in my yard so that I can have some bacon with my city fresh eggs?
I'm not sure if the time and money spent researching this fallacy included searches on diseases from chickens. Salmonella, staph infections and avian flu are some of the diseases impacting humans that I recognized on a simple web search. ThePoultrySite.com lists over 140 poultry diseases.
I'm sure that the ordinance that is proposed will include a requirement for vaccination of the birds to prevent these diseases, but who is going to monitor and enforce? The Port Washington Health Department? Wait, we don’t have a Health Department. Has the Ozaukee County Health Department weighed in on the proposed "chicken" ordinance and are they prepared to enforce violations to public health?
I've got the answer! Section 4.07.000 states, "The Mayor (and) Aldermen … may, with or without process or complaint, arrest, retain and confine in such place as may be provided by the Common Council of this City, until a trial can be had in a proper court, any and all persons violating any provision of the Municipal Code … "
Any Alderman or Mayor who votes to allow raising chickens in the City should be the ones who enforce the ordinance. Post the phone numbers of the Alderman and Mayor who may be on this "Chicken Task Force" to enforce the "chicken" ordinance 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week!
I'm sure that many of our city fathers have visited Hawaii and witnessed the feral chickens running everywhere on the island of Kauai. We may not get hurricanes in Port Washington but we do get high winds in the City of Seven Hills that could knock over the coops, if allowed, causing "free range" chickens in and around our City.
Section 11.02.120 should be amended to include the regulation of chickens, not just dogs and cats. Chickens should be licensed to create a new revenue stream. Subsection B doesn't make any sense as it is currently posted, but you can fix that and add chickens to the list of animals that can be summarily disposed of for running at large.
That duty should go to the above mentioned "Chicken Task Force" comprised of Aldermen with arrest powers who voted for the "chicken" ordinance. I almost forgot horses. Many folks like to ride horses and would save gas money if they could keep a horse in their garage and ride the equine to Franklin Street and go shopping at the new stores opening or proposed and supported by our Port Washington Main Street organization.
Chicken ordinance? Forget about it!
Kendel D. Feilen