In late August I emailed you to ask if you’d be willing to meet and discuss the question of allowing chickens in Lansing. Eventually you responded and ignored my request for a meeting, but you did share that you’re opposed to allowing chickens because of the “odor of chicken coops.” You cited two anecdotal examples as reasons for this, both of which I believe are true but neither of which are sufficient to determine whether chickens should be allowed in Lansing. If I told you about two of my neighbors having smelly dogs, would you make them illegal in Lansing?
A month later I emailed you to ask specifically about running a chicken keeping pilot program in Lansing. In your response, you claimed that I have “minimized the due diligence and research of the Village of Lansing elected officials and administration on this topic.” You then proceeded to ignore my question about a pilot program and instead stated “the topic is closed.”
I responded to that email by saying I’m not minimizing the research the administration has performed because the administrator himself told me that the decision wasn’t based on research but was simply because “the mayor doesn’t want it.” (The administrator told me this in a meeting at Village Hall in a conference room with the door wide open. It was not off the record.) I then asked if you could state why a pilot program is a bad idea. You did not respond.
Then on October 18 I came to the village board meeting with six other residents and presented you with a specific proposal for a pilot program to run in the year 2023. I was very clear that such a proposal has tons of upside and literally no downside—the very worst that can happen is that on January 1, 2024, chickens are still not allowed in Lansing. You said nothing in response to the proposal. I emailed you again the next day to ask if you’d consider it. You did not respond.
I’m writing to you once again to ask that you reconsider your stance on this issue. I do so publicly in the hopes that this format might prompt a more transparent response than what you have so far provided. I won’t bother reciting the case we have built for allowing chickens because it is well rehearsed and you should be familiar enough with it at this point. All I will ask is that if you are still unwilling to support a pilot program, please, for the sake of those of us who care deeply about this and in the spirit of democracy, state your opposition as clearly as it can be done, and explain how your opposition stands against the arguments we have made.
I know you are busy and have plenty else to do, but this is a perfectly reasonable request given how many of your constituents signed our petition in favor of this change.
On behalf of scores of Lansing residents
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