City should check facts on raising backyard chickens

To the Editor,We made the decision to move to Tecumseh almost two years ago. Tecumseh seemed to fit the bill perfectly, so we bought a house downtown and made the move from Ann Arbor.I didn’t even think twice about whether or not we would be allowed to have our chickens. Previously, we kept 15-20 at a time and our then, six-year-old daughter, was responsible for a majority of the care. Keeping a reduced number of chickens after the move seemed realistic given that Tecumseh is a farming community and is so close to other progressive cities that have researched the growing trend of at-home, backyard food production and worked with their citizens to develop a framework for this movement. I was wrong.This did not faze me though, as I thought council would just need to do a little research of their own to understand the facts. Even when presented with evidence regarding local ordinances in nearby towns, city council still refused to be moved. There was never a strong reason presented as to why their vote was no. We heard that the ordinance would be taxing on local law officials, even though the research shows there have been no major issues with backyard chickens in our neighboring communities. We also heard that one of our city leaders spoke to hundreds of residents that proclaimed non-support but he then refused to provide evidence of these communications. Maybe this was not a factual statement as there is a sizable backyard chicken army that has been out having conversations with Tecumseh residents about this movement. Folks are signing petitions, supporting the troops and thinking about their rights as property owners. No matter what, I am proud to live in a community that takes on impacting issues and rallies in support of grass-roots action.I could go on about the benefits of raising backyard chickens, but I don’t have to. A search on the internet can dispel fears and misunderstandings that some may have. What I can attest to is when our friends from neighboring communities come to visit, they are impressed by our little town. Some have begun to think about moving here. There is one thing that makes them pause and it is our conversations about the lack of vision the majority of council members have shown regarding this issue. Progress is powerful and an elected government’s willingness to investigate, research and hear out the people is even more powerful when it comes to making decisions about where to live. I hope that our council can move toward fact-based decision-making and a vision for the progressive future of Tecumseh.Julie VoelkerTecumseh

Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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