Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

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Jim O'Bryan
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:47 am

Missy Limkemann wrote:And once again City Council of Lakewood has disgusted me ......



If you ask me, many are missing the much larger point.


FWIW


Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
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Steve Hoffert
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Steve Hoffert » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:15 am

What would that point be? Possibly that the council has offered no resistance to policies set forth in the last two administrations, a hand picked member of council has "gone off the reservation" and stated the truth about politics in Lakewood and will get chastised for her fleeting moment of verisimilitude or that the supposed pilot project is a mere plot to bait those who wish to raise poultry into believing the administration is on their side in order to destroy the project surreptitiously?


Betsy Voinovich
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Betsy Voinovich » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:42 am

Jim O'Bryan wrote:
Missy Limkemann wrote:And once again City Council of Lakewood has disgusted me ......



If you ask me, many are missing the much larger point.


FWIW



I think the larger point has to do with this part of Monique's post:

Monique Smith wrote:It breaks my heart to say this, because I once publicly supported the campaign of our current mayor and genuinely believed he would bring a very beneficial management style to city hall, but here's the thing:

The mayor and some members of his administration are showing increasingly worrisome signs that they have no regard for council or some members of the public in Lakewood who may have opinions that differ from theirs. This backyard hen question is only one example in a pattern that I've been observing and have been worrying quite a bit about.


The council is supposed to be a representative body. If council or citizens or the mayor have opinions that differ, the representative body of City Council, if functioning properly--legally-- is the perfect place to examine these differences, and vet the pros and cons of any issue, in an effort to make the best decision for the citizens of Lakewood, who they represent.

It shouldn't matter if the mayor or members of his administration or members of council themselves have "different opinions"-- if this body is running correctly, they should not be able to DISREGARD opinions that differ from theirs.

Monique points out that the raising of chickens is only one example of a pattern that she has been observing and worrying quite a bit about.

My question is what are the other examples? If what Monique is saying is true, what other issues that require representation have been "disregarded" because they "differ" from the mayor's, or other members of his administration's "opinion"? And what issues will come up in the future? And do these/wil these issues have the benefit of any outside representation from the community like the chicken issue does?

Or has the community already lost out on having its voice heard because decisions are made based on the mayor's opinion, and did he (and will he continue to), as Monique's letter states, "disregard" the opinions of others, because those opinions were not his own?

If our Council is not running responsibly, as Steve Hoffert suggests in his post, it is not just the behavior of the Council that is "disgusting." It's the behavior of the entire Administration, and it needs to be sorted out.

Councilperson Monique Smith should be supported for speaking out. What are these other issues? Do we have representation on the Council and in the Mayor's Office? We have discussed at length how the idea of representation is threatened when almost every public official is appointed, and then when they have a chance to actually be elected, they run unopposed.

The Chicken group will be fine. Their effort is well-organized, well-researched, reasonable, respectful and well-publicized. If the issue of having a pilot program was brought before City Council in their normal course of business, the advocates of chicken-raising would get their "day in court" so to speak, before the Council, which (by law) represents the citizens of Lakewood. If Monique or some of her colleagues have missed some relevant points about why hen-raising is good for Lakewood, ALL of these points could be described in the public forum of a City Council meeting. So everyone, including our representatives on the Council, would get to hear about it in public, in a completely transparent fashion. Transparency is required for accountability.

My question, again, is what are the other issues? And are our Administration and Council functioning properly?

If what Steve Hoffert is suggesting about politics in Lakewood is true,

Steve Hoffert wrote:What would that point be? Possibly that the council has offered no resistance to policies set forth in the last two administrations, a hand picked member of council has "gone off the reservation" and stated the truth about politics in Lakewood and will get chastised for her fleeting moment of verisimilitude or that the supposed pilot project is a mere plot to bait those who wish to raise poultry into believing the administration is on their side in order to destroy the project surreptitiously?


then we as a city have a lot bigger problems (with all due respect to Hens in Lakewood, and they deserve a lot of respect) than whether or not we can raise chickens in Lakewood.

Betsy Voinovich


Ann Stahlheber
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Ann Stahlheber » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:53 am

The Citizens Committee for Hens in Lakewood requested a pilot project to raise hens. The pilot will involve 3 families developing a proper coop/run, keeping 4 hens for a year. Throughout that year, it will be determined if hens can be removed from the animals on the city's "disallowed" list.

The Lakewood Animal Welfare Board met with the Hens in Lakewood group several times, so that any animal welfare and public health and safety issue could be addressed. The Board approved the pilot exemption unanimously. David Anderson, Lakewood Councilman submitted a request on behalf of the Board to allow the exemption for three pilot families.

Lakewood Law gives the Mayor (as public safety director) the authority to make decisions independent of council to grant exemptions to anyone who wants to keep animals on the "disallowed" list. According to Lakewood Law, the mayor does not need to consult council to grant the exemptions. Nevertheless, all members of council were informed of this issue at many steps along the way. The Mayor and the Hens in Lakewood met and discussed this issue extensively. He granted the exemption on Monday, November 14th.

Since then, some members of council are accusing the mayor of overreaching his authority to grant these exemptions for the pilot project. While LEAF does not know whether this may have happened in other cases unrelated to hens, in this case, the law was followed.

Please do not allow the Hens in Lakewood Pilot Project to be lost in a political dispute over procedure, when in this case the correct procedure was followed at every step. Please also let your councilperson know if you support the substance of this project.

Please take a second to reach out to city council:

Tell council if you support the Mayor for the exemptions of the three families to raise hens for the pilot project. Reiterate to them that the Mayor followed the law here. Copy and paste these email addresses right from here and paste them into your "to:" mary.madigan@lakewoodoh.net, david.anderson@lakewoodoh.net, tom.bullock@lakewoodoh.net, brian.powers@lakewoodoh.net, monique.smith@lakewoodoh.net, ryan.nowlin@lakewoodoh.net, mayor@lakewoodoh.net, shawn.juris@lakewoodoh.net

Tell council if you think the pilot is a good idea. This pilot project was designed to allow the City to determine if there is any truth to concerns that hens might cause problems within the City. This way any change in legislation will be based on truth rather than myth.

Attend the council meeting on Monday, November 21, at 7:30 pm. If you wish, sign up on the docket to make a public statement.

For information on this local initiative visit the Hens in Lakewood's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LakewoodOhioHens.

If you would like to learn more about urban hen-keeping and how people across the country are successfully raising hens in the city, please visit www.backyardchickens.com.


Ann Stahlheber M.S. R.D. L.D. C.S.N.
Peter Grossetti
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Peter Grossetti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:43 am

Why just this ordinance? Why not ALL ordinances which currently give the Mayor the authority to grant exemptions? C'mon! If you want to castrate someone, please do it at one fell swoop!

as a aside, oddly enough ... Shakespeare coined the phrase "one fell swoop" with a chicken reference in Macbeth:

MACDUFF: [on hearing that his family and servants have all been killed]

All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?


"So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"

~ Fred (Mr. Rogers) Rogers
David Anderson
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby David Anderson » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:04 am

Hello, all.

As the council representative for the Lakewood Animal Welfare and Safety Advisory Board (LAWSAB), I want to make a few points clear, at least from my perspective.

First off, my role on LAWSAB is more of a liaison as I do not have the ability to vote on matters but do ask and respond to many questions. Secondly, I feel the LAWSAB vetted the issue of hens in Lakewood as much as possible before concluding that a pilot project would be the sensible next step. Some questions as to whether it can or should exist in Lakewood, it seems, can only be answered by allowing a small pilot to take place. (These questions include: 1) Should back yards be of a certain size before allowing a hen coop and, if so, what should that size be? 2) Should the city ban rental properties of any sort from being allowed to have a hen coop? 3) Should Lakewood limit the number of hen "licenses" to a certain number per year? 4) What education program must a potential hen owner participate before being granted a license?)

Personally, I did take time to study the issue on my own and took advantage of the opportunity to visit homes around the Detroit/W. 74th Street area which have hen coops and discuss hen ins and outs with the owners.

I did not submit a request on behalf of the LAWSAB but did inform Mayor Summers that the LAWSAB is recommending that he grant the one-year exemption. I was not aware of last Monday’s meeting between Mayor Summers and the pilot participants but do not feel the least bit slighted at all.

Yours in service,
David W. Anderson
Councilman, Ward 1


Ann Stahlheber
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Ann Stahlheber » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:15 am

Thanks David for the clarification. The word recommended should have been used rather than submitted a request. Thanks for taking the time to learn about this idea.
~Annie


Ann Stahlheber M.S. R.D. L.D. C.S.N.
Peter Grossetti
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Peter Grossetti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:45 am

David has been a wonderful Council rep to LASWAB. Thank you, David.

I want to remind everyone exactly what LAWSAB is:

The Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board was established in 2008 to serve in an advisory capacity for the purpose of general animal issues, assist in public education and community outreach to owners of animal safety and abuse problems. The Board is also involved in updating and improving written educational materials and the coordination and referral of animal owners to education classes.

The Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory board is composed of seven members. Board members include a representative from the Lakewood City Council, the Director of Public Safety or a representative of that office, and five members who are representatives from the City of Lakewood with some area of expertise in animal behavior, animal safety or other experience that brings diversity to the membership of the board.

The Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board shall be advisory and coordinate its activities with the Administration and Council and any other boards or agencies. The Board is authorized to undertake any animal safety and welfare task requested by the Mayor and City Council.

The LASWAB has NO legislative authority.


"So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"

~ Fred (Mr. Rogers) Rogers
Scott Meeson
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Scott Meeson » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:25 am

Peter,

Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board: http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissions/AnimalSafetyWelfareAdvisory.aspx

Advisory Board Meeting Minutes included on the site.

You just had the November meeting, but where are the minutes for May, July, and September?


If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.
- Aristotle
Peter Grossetti
Posts: 1520
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Peter Grossetti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:45 pm

Scott - Fair question. I'll look into it.
But while you are at it, ask the same question of:

Board of Building Standards /Architectural Board of Review / Sign Review
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissions/BuildingStandards.aspx#

Lakewood Audit Committee
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... ittee.aspx

Citizens Advisory Committee
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... isory.aspx

Civil Service Commission
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... rvice.aspx

Fair Employment Wage Board
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... tWage.aspx

Loan Approval Board for the Division of Community Development
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... roval.aspx

Planning Commission
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... ssion.aspx

Board of Zoning Appeals
http://onelakewood.com/Boards_Commissio ... peals.aspx


"So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"

~ Fred (Mr. Rogers) Rogers
Betsy Voinovich
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Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Betsy Voinovich » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:40 pm

Hi all--

My problem with the way this pilot project was approved, is that it does an “end around” the public. Why can’t a pilot project be proposed before the City Council in public? Hens in Lakewood has done their homework in every single way. Their research makes for a powerful presentation, and proposal, that the community deserves to see and be a part of. It gives the community, as a whole, every reason to support it, and if they do not at the beginning, it gives them a forum for debate, a debate HIL is well-prepared for.

The fact that the Animal Safety and Welfare Board approved the pilot project makes the proposal all the more compelling.

Our members on Council represent us, and by following due process, proposals get heard, vetted, debated, studied in public. If there are certain Council members who are seen to be personally “dead set against chickens,” then the proper procedure is to make sure they are actually representing their constituency. With the kind of compelling presentation HIL can make, no Council member could stand up and say “they smell,” “they’re low class,” “they lower property values,” when you guys are standing there with all the facts. You would get your day in court.

In this case, your group could see to the correct functioning of our democratic process. It’s not “political infighting,” or maybe it is, I don’t know, but if it is, it is ALSO a chance to allow our regular process to work the way it should.

Maybe Councilperson Smith, or whoever else who didn’t take advantage of a visit to a nearby chicken farm, didn’t have time to, because she has a fulltime job, or she is home with a baby, like many citizens in Lakewood. This is why the findings from those visits should be brought to a public meeting, so that all of us can understand, and the Council representatives that did go, can share their information with the rest of the Council, the Administration, and the community.

A Council member, representing her constituents, is not supposed to bring his or her personal biases to their decision-making. They are elected to represent the public. This is why Monique’s letter was so disturbing when it referred to the Mayor as disregarding any opinions that were not his own. Even the Mayor’s personal opinions are not supposed to matter. His job is to do the best job he can making the best decisions for Lakewood, based on real information. He is not a king, and the Council members are not dukes and duchesses. They are all there to represent the public.

As for Monique's comments about the mayor disregarding opinions other than his own, it's easy to see how a Councilperson could be concerned about the mayor's authority to make exemptions, which potentially allows him to sidestep the will of the Council and by extension, the will of the people.

In terms of the Mayor’s legal ability to make exemptions, this process seems more appropriate for times when extreme situations, like the city being damaged in a storm, etc, require quick action, like “war powers.”

There is no war here; there is a city thirsty for information and growth, with a process in place for that to happen in a way that allows everyone to participate.

I personally am a strong supporter of raising chickens in Lakewood. I feel that this whole enterprise would be much, much safer if it followed our regular democratic process, and was proposed at a Council meeting, and went through the steps necessary for its approval.

Having said this, I think the debate going on right now, about how this is being done, is great for our city. If I need to be further educated, I trust that I will be, and soon, with the number of passionate, committed people that are out there both advocating for this and shining a light on how our city functions.

Betsy Voinovich


Peter Grossetti
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Peter Grossetti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:00 pm

Betsy - I agree with the vast majority of what you have said here. Your post is filled with common sense and decency. My only concern is your opening statement. I assert that the Mayor's decision was completely legal and by the book. If we want to make "end-arounds" something to have a penalty flag thrown at (to keep the football analogy going), then the ordinance needs to be changed ... which apparently Council will be trying to do tonight by introducing Ordinance 51-11 which would revise Chapter 505.18. That's fine. That's the process.

But I have to reiterate: Why just this ordinance? Why not ALL ordinances which currently give the Mayor the authority to grant exemptions?


"So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"

~ Fred (Mr. Rogers) Rogers
Tim Liston
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:10 pm

Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Tim Liston » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:17 pm

Betsy wrote….

“A Council member, representing her constituents, is not supposed to bring his or her personal biases to their decision-making. They are elected to represent the public. This is why Monique’s letter was so disturbing when it referred to the Mayor as disregarding any opinions that were not his own. Even the Mayor’s personal opinions are not supposed to matter. His job is to do the best job he can making the best decisions for Lakewood, based on real information. He is not a king, and the Council members are not dukes and duchesses. They are all there to represent the public.”

Betsy, does this mean that our elected officials should make decisions that reflect the will of the majority of his/her constituents? Or should elected officials make decisions based on what they believe is in the best and interests of his/her constituents? Because very often what folks want, and what is really for the best, are quite different things. That’s where the personal opinion of an official becomes very important.


Peter Grossetti
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Peter Grossetti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:30 pm

Tim - My 2 cents ... the answer, I believe, is somewhere in the middle. And it's why we have seven council members. It's why we have three distinct branches of government. I know that sounds pretty elementary, but it ensure that no one person or group gets too Powersful. The only group who should wield power is The Citizenry.


"So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"

~ Fred (Mr. Rogers) Rogers
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Jim O'Bryan
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:12 pm
Location: Lakewood
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Re: Chickens Legal In Lakewood...

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Peter Grossetti wrote:Tim - My 2 cents ... the answer, I believe, is somewhere in the middle. And it's why we have seven council members. It's why we have three distinct branches of government. I know that sounds pretty elementary, but it ensure that no one person or group gets too Powersful. The only group who should wield power is The Citizenry.


Excellent

From David Graeber, an anthropologist/anarchist
and part of the Occupy Brain Trust


"Politics is that dimension of social life in which things really do
become true if enough people believe them. The problem is that in
order to play the game effectively, one can never acknowledge its
essence. No king would openly admit he is king just because people
think he is. Political power has to be constantly recreated by
persuading others to recognize one’s power; to do so, one pretty much
invariably has to convince them that one’s power has some basis other
than their recognition. That basis may be almost anything— divine
grace, character, genealogy, national destiny. But “make me your
leader because if you do, I will be your leader” is not in itself a
particularly compelling argument.

In this sense politics is very similar to magic, which in most times and
places—as I discovered in Madagascar—is simultaneously recognized
as something that works because people believe that it works; but also,
that only works because people do not believe it works only because people
believe it works. For this why magic, whether in ancient Thessaly or the
contemporary Trobriand Islands, always seems to dwell in an uncertain
territory somewhere between poetic expression and outright fraud. And
of course the same can usually be said of politics.

If so, for the art world to recognize itself as a form of politics is also to
recognize itself as something both magical, and a confidence game—a
kind of scam."



.


Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama

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