Lord, please save us from bloggers of any kind.
As for me, I can't tell you how grateful I am for editors like Rick Nagel, John Russell, Paul Harth, Tim West, Mike Cetera, Dave Parro and the others who took the time to bestow their wisdom and vast expertise upon me, for I have seen what can happen when some of you are left to your own devices.
Just because you happen to have a random thought, that doesn’t mean you really need to write it down, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should share it with the rest of us. What’s that old adage about opening your mouth and removing all doubt?
That said, teenage blogger Jeff Hersheway does have some talent, but he’s the rare exception that proves the rule. (Jeff: Email me for some suggestions on how to make it even better.)
But back to the issue at hand.
In what can only be described as a “whatever I’ve been thinking for the last five minutes has to be the truth” and “I want what I want when I want it” kind of piece, one Patch blogger chastised the city of Geneva for their steadfast refusal to bless backyard chickens.
As you may recall, that very issue recently came up for a City Council straw vote, which ended up in a 5-5 tie. Truth be told, had you predicted it would’ve been that close, I would’ve told your significant other to lock up the liquor cabinet.
Apparently, Geneva’s gone straight from Republican to Democratic with no stops in between. Thankfully, declaring he wouldn’t want chickens for neighbors, Mayor Kevin Burns sent the non-binding City Council referendum down to the ignominious defeat it deserved.
Though I did like it much better when, during the previous debate on city fowl, the mayor quipped, “Any time a project benefits the community, it will receive all consideration and support. But chickens? Really? ... I spent the last eight years with chickens. They’re called aldermen. They’re annoying, and they smell.”
Come to think of it, if we can ban chickens, could we also ban … ? But then what would I write about?
So while egg-laying fowl are certainly a bit more bearable than aldermen (you can always eat a chicken if it gets on your nerves), that doesn’t mean they belong within the city limits. They’re noisy, they constantly go at each other, and they stink.
Now, I will admit that description sounds a lot like the rest of my neighbors, but that doesn’t mean I want to be exposed to more of it. And don’t give me that “Batavia allows them” stuff, because no one wants to live in Batavia anyway.
Of course, our intrepid blogger summarily dismissed those similar City Council concerns with some simple platitudes like, “Keep your coop clean, and it (vermin) won’t be an issue,” “an ordinance that specifies completely enclosed coops would prevent predation,” and, in her presentation to the council, that hens top out at 63 decibels tops, about the level of a average human conversation.
Really? And some of you accuse me of being overly simplistic. C’mon! We can’t even get folks to pick up after their dogs, so now they’ll magically turn into responsible chicken owners?
While my neighbors, on rare occasion, are prone to bouts of silence, chickens will proceed to make noise as long as there’s sunlight. And having to listen to a gaggle of chickens all day long would rank right up there with passing a kidney stone or having to listen to Alderman Craig Maladra ramble on about water rate hikes.
So while the rest of us are screaming at the city to keep costs down, now code enforcers are supposed to deal with rogue chicken coops? Yes! The city could always implement some sort of chicken husbandry charge, but considering that Batavia’s had all of seven applications, it would have to be one heck of a fee to make it worth their while.
Our blogger/resident also implied that the City Council deferred to the obvious “white trash factor” of having backyard Geneva chickens. While I’d like nothing more than to see herds of feral hens roaming the fields of Eagle Brook, chickens don’t belong within the city limits.
I’ve said it before: When we stepped out of that primordial forest to band together in settlements, we chose to give up certain facets of our solitary life in exchange for the benefits of a shared existence. And if I recall correctly, one of those things was chickens.
Ah! But there is an option!
If you wanna keep livestock in your back yard, set fire pit bonfires, and do your best Dances With Wolves impersonation, then move west of Peck Road, where the plots of land are enormous and they don’t frown on that kind thing. You should see Mill Creek on a Saturday night. It’s like something right out of The Lord of the Flies.
Not only that, but if you want farm fresh eggs, they’re also easily available west of Peck Road for a mere pittance. Thus, you get reap benefit of backyard chickens without all the fuss and muss.
Though we’ve been at odds at times, this time the mayor was dead on. Now if I can only get him to ban bloggers.