Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Baldwin City Tackles Amending Chicken Ordinance

Baldwin City, KS - The June 6, 2016 city council meeting was called to order by Mayor Marilyn  Pearse. The council introduced the new Community Development Director Ed Courton, who is into his second week on the job, attending his first council meeting.
new Community Development
Director Ed Courton
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
After discussion at previous meetings about being the only city in Kansas that still requires two readings of an ordinance, before being approved, ordinance 1093 was introduced.  The ordinance would change that practice by striking the word final from the original ordinance.  If approved the new wording would read, "The vote on the final passage of an ordinance shall be taken by yeas and Nays."  Councilman David Simmons, as in the previous two discussions, expressed his concerns about the transparency to the public, if we eliminate the second reading of an ordinance.
The suggestion was made that the language should include a reading with the vote at a subsequent meeting. Eliminating only the vote after the first reading, which moves an ordinance to the second reading. The discussion was tabled, to hammer out the verbiage suggested by Simmons.
Next on the agenda was ordinance 1335, to clarify the cities regulations regarding chickens. The new ordinance eliminates the minimum square footage required per chicken.
Council members discuss chickens.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
it would limit the number of chickens and ducks to no more then 20, which is similar to an ordinance in Lawrence.  The ordinance does specifically ban roosters, meaning no chicken breeders inside the city limits. Only those wanting chickens and ducks for fresh eggs will be allowed. The chicken ordinance was unanimously moved to a second reading.
To come into compliance with a new state law regarding elections, charter ordinance 24 to repeal charter ordinance 2. The new ordinance will move the spring elections of the odd election years, to November of the odd election years. Meaning new city and school elected officials will take office the following January. 

In other business:

  • The council discussed and approved ordinance 1343, the annexation of real property which adjoins the city along Washington Street.
  • Approved the School Resource Officer (SRO) contract with the Baldwin City School District.
  • Approved the special event application for the car show, but expressed extreme concern about the pinup name and promotion of the event. Councilwoman Kathy Gerstner felt the pinup contest was derogatory to women as a whole.  The application was approved with two yeas, two nays and two abstentions.
  • Unanimously approved the special event application for the 52nd annual Maple Leaf Festival.
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