For those of you who may have missed this earlier thread, there is a man named Guy Niere who lives in Black Jack. The Post Dispatch ran an article on his sustainable living program in his backyard, from which the mayor discovered that he is keeping chickens. Up until that point, mayor Norman McCort had not been aware of this, and Niere has never had a single complaint about his chickens from anyone.
The Post article was published April 25th, 2012. Niere received a letter from the city on May 30th informing him that he had until July 2nd to disperse his flock. Niere is involved in a restoration breeding program, along with the Spanish government, to bring back the rare Black Penedesenca chicken from the edge of extinction. This breed is a cultural icon in Catalonia, Spain, where there is an annual festival celebrating it. There are only 8 preservationist breeders in the USA, and there are only two exist in MO, which is the only state of the eight programes that have more than one breeder. Niere keeps four pens, the smallest contains 3 birds and the largest contains 8 birds.
The city councill meeting on June 5th was unusually packed - even the mayor commented on it. Many of us from the backyard chicken meetup list were there, including residents from Clayton and elsewhere, as well as fellow Black Jack chicken owners and residents. Niere's neighbors spoke in his favor, as did several citizens who do not even own chickens but are outraged at this assault.
There has been a plethora of negative attention towards the actions of Black Jack's mayor from Channel 2, Channel 4, Channel 11, The Post Dispatch (who was present at the meeting and posted an article that night at 12:02 am), and WGMU radio.
On the evening of Thursday, June 8th, Mayor McCort called Niere at home and asked him to write a letter requesting an extention, which Niere did the following business day. However, the very next day, Niere received a letter from city hall granting him am extention until August.
WHY SHOULD THE MAYOR ASK NIERE TO WRITE A LETTER FOR AN EXTENTION THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN GRANTED, AND A LETTER HAD ALREADY BEEN SENT, PRIOR TO HIS PHONE CALL TO NIERE?!?
What kind of politics are being played at here?
The most impact upon city officials will be from Black Jack residents. PLEASE, if you know anyone in Black Jack who are pet owners, please ask them to contact their city council person. As a dog owner who used to own bully breeds ("Pit bull" type breeds) I am only too aware of how irrationally but possible it is to have your pets legislated away from you. There are some home owners' insurance companies who are now banning Irish Wolfhounds - known all over the world as "The Gentle Giant" - just because of their size, so if you think that this does not concern you if you don't keep pet chickens and something like this can't affect you, think again.
Black Jack's contact information is:
12500 Old Jamestown Road, Black Jack, MO 63033
ph: 314.355.0400, fax: 314.355.4196
Thank you for your sympathy and support,
Dorene Olson, very concerned citizen