Online chicken survey intended to prevent council from running 'afowl' of public opinion

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 11th, 2012

The chickens are ruling the roost once again, and the puns are flying fast and furious after city councillor Deb McIntosh requested a public meeting discussing whether the city should allow residents to raise chickens on urban properties in Castlegar.

At council’s regular meeting Monday night, McIntosh said the city had allowed the debate to arise once more by welcoming resident and unsuccessful council candidate Pete Wulowka to come to council as a delegation (at which time he requested that council revisit current bylaws).

The city’s animal control bylaw currently bans the birds, but McIntosh said she is less concerned about ruffling feathers than about putting the issue to bed once and for all.

“I’d like to see us set a debate in the very near future for a public discussion,” she said. “If there’s an existing bylaw, we should not have entertained the discussion – but we did, so now we have to follow it through to the end.”

Councillor Russ Hearne concurred.

“Let’s get this chicken across the road, and see if we can hatch a plan,” he said, adding he doesn’t think the idea is a fowl one … but he opposes it, just the same.

Councillor Kevin Chernoff has responded by attempting to gather more information about what Castlegar residents really want – to that end, he has posted an online survey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BRKLHB5 and you can also find the link on The Source’s Facebook page) to which he said he hopes to see a broader response than what is presented at council meetings.

“I thought it was important that we get some honest answers from a broader cross-section of the population,” he said, adding he’s already received 91 responses. (about 15 of which don’t qualify, as they’re from people who don’t live in Castlegar).  Chernoff also said he’ll have someone like councillor Deb McIntosh, who is in favour of allowing chickens, to audit his results and methodology before making them public.

“That’s why I didn’t Tweet it on Twitter – too many of the people who follow me are from other parts of the province, and I think this is a decision that should be restricted to Castlegar residents.”

WatchThe Source for more information, including the date and time of the public consultation when it is announced.


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