For the past 16 months, we have asked hen supporters to write to the Mayor and City Council regarding your support of urban hens in Billings. Now we’re going to ask something slightly different.
Will you consider writing a brief note of appreciation for this vote? The Council/Mayor have had to wade through months of rhetoric, fears, facts, accusations, documentation, phone calls, emails, citizen testimony and more… from both sides of the coop. They came out of that on the side of urban hens. Would you write them to just say a simple “Thank you!” for the work they have done? Council@ci.billings.mt.us and HanelT@ci.billings.mt.us.
Additionally, we were remiss in not expressing our gratitude to the city staff who have indicated that, while they will proceed with the issue whichever way the Council votes, they were supportive of our efforts. The Planning and Animal Control departments in particular have been gracious, fair, and encouraging during this work. On behalf of the Billings Backyard Hen Initiative, THANK YOU! It has been a struggle for all of us to keep this issue above-board and respectful of persons and job functions during this long process; mis-quotes and misunderstandings will happen at times. The only ones who got ugly about this were the anonymous commenters to the Billings Gazette online articles, and it’s easy to be inflammatory when you’re hiding behind anonymity. This issue did NOT denigrate into mud-slinging and bitterness among those of us with our names and faces out in public (citizens, city staff, City Council), and we very much appreciate that fact! Sure makes this citizen wonder how often the problem lies with the public and our lack of respect and consideration when making a request, rather than the “government workers and politicians” that it is so easy for that public to bash. Just food for thought… (“>