City Council For Urban Chickens - Just Not Yet

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

City Council members on Tuesday night indicated strong support for allowing residents to keep backyard chickens, but the approval will have to wait at least until early July.

A majority of council members voted to defer action until the new Animal Control Board can study an ordinance drafted by District 7 Councilman Chris Anderson and community members.

Voting to defer until July 2 were Carol Berz, Russell Gilbert, Larry Grohn, Chip Henderson, Moses Freeman and Chairman Yusuf Hakeem.

Voting against the deferral were Council members Anderson, Jerry Mitchell and Ken Smith.

One potential area of disagreement arose when Councilman Anderson said his ordinance did not require pre-inspection of urban chicken owners. He said inspections would only come if there were complaints about the operation.

Mike Mallen, Animal Control Board chairman, said, "I do not understand how we can grant a permit without some type of due diligence."

He said his panel should have a new animal control ordinance worked out in about two or three more meetings - 6-8 weeks. The group's next meeting is at noon on Monday at the J.B. Collins Conference Room near the City Council meeting room.

Karen Walsh, director of the McKamey Animal Trust, who said she no longer opposes urban chickens, also said she favors having the new board study the topic.

Councilman Freeman said the motion was contingent on the Animal Control Board acting favorably on urban chicken ownership.

Vice Chairman Henderson said he strongly favors chicken ownership, "but we need to follow process."

Councilwoman Berz said, "I really like the idea of urban chickens. I just want to do it right."

Councilman Grohn said it appeared those favoring the chickens wanted "a total rush for no reason."

Councilman Anderson said urban chickens came up often during his campaign - far more than any other animal or fowl topic.

He said residents should be able to enjoy fresh eggs "and new pets."

Many other cities are embracing the idea, he said.     


TBI Launches Innovative Program To Protect Agents, Forensic Scientists From Fentanyl Risks

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched a program on Monday, to provide a potentially life-saving resource to its special agents who might come into contact with fentanyl. In recent years, law enforcement agencies across the country have reported an increase in exposure to the powerful and potentially deadly painkiller, primarily in heroin recoveries. In recent months, ... (click for more)

Police Say Man, 39, Dropped Off Girl, 14, For Sex At East Brainerd Motel

Police say a 39-year-old man dropped off a 14-year-old girl at an East Brainerd motel after an undercover officer arranged for sex. The office had answered an ad for escort services on the Internet site Backpage. John Harper Farmer Jr., of E. 5th Street, was charged with promoting prostitution, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and driving on a revoked license. ... (click for more)

Republicans And Fox News Are Creating An Ebola Crisis

It seems that the Republicans and Fox News are at it again.  They are calling for “closing the borders” in order to protect us from the Ebola virus.   They are spreading fear and angst among the populous in order to blame the Obama administration with failing to protect the citizenry. Isn’t this the same crowd that claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)

Tennessee Wasted No Time Shifting Attention To Alabama

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – L ittle time had passed following Tennessee's 34-3 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night before the challenge that lies ahead this week crossed the mind of the UT staff. In past years, a loss of that type could have had a lasting impact on the psyche of the team. But  Tennessee coach Butch Jones   still sees his team progressing, both mentally ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Riley Hickman: 2-for-2 Wins At Cleveland And Talladega

The “Hustler” Riley Hickman of Ooltewah hunkered down this weekend and picked up a pair of wins in Dirt Track competition. Friday night the # R1 “Hickman Manufacturing, American Billett, Austin Trucking, Tucker Mobile Home Service, Allstar Graphics, VP Racing Fuels, RH Designs, Competition Racing Equipment, A-1 Towing, MRC” sponsored CVR / Vic Hill powered machine ... (click for more)