Unfortunately, in what I'm hoping was a quest for "a balanced look at the issue," the author provided even more airtime for Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey and her peculiar concerns about urban chickens:
Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey opposes efforts to allow backyard chickens in her community. One concern: University students often leave pets behind, she says, and the city – home to the University of Iowa – would need to develop facilities to shelter abandoned chickens.I'd love to see the data that Bailey's consulting in order to form her opinion that she needs to create abandoned chicken shelters. If I'm lucky, it'll be the same data set that's showing backyard chicken owners will be putting small Midwestern farmers out of the organic produce business.
Another problem: Small Midwestern farmers are increasingly trying to raise a diversity of organic produce beyond corn, oats and soybeans. But that movement faces an uphill battle, Bailey says, when locals who are passionate about high-quality eggs bypass their local farmers.
"We have a lot of small farmers around here making chickens and eggs available for sale," Bailey says. "My fundamental question is: Why aren't we supporting the regional economy?"
How about it Mayor Bailey? Care to share what's informing your concerns? Or is it just more smoke-and-mirrors in City Hall?
Photo credit gingerjess on Flickr