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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Bother to Attend Public Hearings? Pt. 3

Last week, the Edgerton City Council voted 4-3 against a motion that would have opened the door for possible chicken ownership in town. As reported in the Janesville Gazette, the decision came with little city council discussion despite a crowd showing in support of permitting chickens.
JG Excerpt:
“The input I’ve gotten in the past couple of weeks has been against chickens,” Lund told a crowd of residents who came out in support of the ordinance changes....
Council member Ron Webb said he voted no because every resident he’d spoken to was violently opposed to residential chickens.

“One-hundred-percent of the people I talked to said no, no. As in no eff-ing way,” Webb told the Gazette following the council’s vote Monday.
Wow. Everyone violently opposed? effing way? With that angry rhetoric I'd think someone in Edgerton was passing a stone over universal health care. I'd expect a tea bag mob at city hall with torches and pitchforks and bonfires burning non-complying city officials in effigy for even thinking about allowing chickens in city limits.
JG Excerpt:
Resident Beth Goetsch said she was surprised so many residents told Webb and Lund they're opposed to backyard chickens since none voiced opposition at Monday’s meeting or at the preceding committee meeting when the chicken request was discussed.
DOH! That all sounds so eerily familiar. Not one effing person showed up?? Instead, in the friendly confines of the little Edgerton city hall building - all the wrong people showed up to participate in the public hearing ...and lost the battle against phantom antagonists.

The same pattern with the same results happens at Janesville city hall so often that I've dubbed the phantom antagonists here the "BlackBerry Group." Edgerton appears to have the same problem with their city council as well but to be fair, chances are extremely high that most city councils and township boards cowtow to the wishes of the local wealthy and their sphere of influential insiders.

Next up facing the same civic test will be the city council in Racine as a group of residents have now organized and want to keep chickens within city limits. I admit, I don't know how much weight public hearings carry with the Racine city council. But if council members listen only to the special people who don't show up at the meetings like they do here in Janesville or Edgerton, then the decision has already been made. The pro-chicken folks don't stand a chance.

Why Bother To Attend Public Hearings and Meetings? Pt.2

Why bother to attend public hearings and meetings Pt.1


Anonymous said...

Not to be too negative here, but "100% of the people I've talked to...." doesn't tell us much of anything. If this person talked to ONE other person--and that person was against the idea--then '100% of the people he talked to' were against the idea. Somehow, his words seem deliberately chosen...

Anonymous said...

THEY do that alot. THEY say they are getting a lot of feedback but when asked to show proof of it there is none. THEY do that to justify their already made up minds. If there is so much opposition how come none of them came to the meeting? If they are so violently opposed surely they would have taken the time to make their voice heard. Games, games and more games. Bottom line is....THEY don't want it. City councils all the way up to county boards are instituting what THEY want, not what their constituents want. People say they vote THEM in as our voice but THEY clearly don't do what WE want.

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