Ul­ster’s new chicken law un­der­mines democ­racy

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

Dear Ed­i­tor: On Nov. 3, the Ul­ster Town Board voted unan­i­mously to pass a res­o­lu­tion that in­fringes on the rights and lib­er­ties of town res­i­dents.

This law was not passed be­cause a ma­jor­ity of town res­i­dents wanted it. In fact, Town Board mem­bers could cite only two com­plaints to the them about chick­ens be­ing a nui­sance. Mean­while, there have been op­posers com­ing to meet­ings in droves to speak out against this type of fas­cist law which re­quires some­one to grow food.

Sim­ply put, the Town Board went against the wishes of the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents of the town. In 2010, the town pop­u­la­tion was 12,327, so, ba­si­cally, the vote would be 12,324-3 against this law, and they passed it any­way. I say 3 be­cause one of the com­plaints was from a cou­ple with a child who got a dis­ease from a bird and blamed it on the chick­ens that their chil­dren used to play with. There is no way to ver­ify the boy even con­tracted the dis­ease from the chick­ens. Any bird and some mam­mals can carry this virus. While I feel bad for the boy and the hell he has been through, this still does not jus­tify the town en­act­ing an old­school Rus­sia-style law.

Lets look at some of the rea­sons for parts of this law.

Sec­tion 190-70 says that, in re­cent years, there has been an up­surge of in­ter­est in the keep­ing of chick­ens in the town of Ul­ster.

Ac­tu­ally, the up­surge has been in peo­ple who move into and com­plain about a neigh­bor­hood!

The law says the Town Board has re­ceived sub­stan­tial pub­lic in­ter­est in re­quest­ing an eval­u­a­tion of poul­try in cer­tain zon­ing districts.

Ac­tu­ally, the Town Board could only cite two house­holds’ com­plaints about chick­ens.

The law claims it pro­vides for “sus­tain­able production of egg, and poul­try.”

Ac­tu­ally, with­out roost­ers, there is no such thing as a sus­tain­able flock.

The law, ac­cord­ing to the town su­per­vi­sor, pro­vides for li­cens­ing “so we know who and where you are.”

Re­ally? Are we in a Com­mu­nist-bloc coun­try now?

The pass­ing of this law with dis­re­gard to over­whelm­ing op­po­si­tion from res­i­dents un­der­mines democ­racy and takes away our rights and civil lib­er­ties. Frank Rit­tie Jr. East Kingston

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