2009-06-10 / Front Page

Mayor wants to allow fowl in city, if caged, Lyford revisits Animal Control Ordinance

Mayor Henry de la Paz told city commissioners Monday evening that he believes the Animal Control Ordinance is discriminatory and needs to be amended.

"We didn't allow that lady to keep her duck, what is the difference between a duck and a parrot?," he asked.

"If she wants to have a fowl, it has to be caged," said Commissioner Wally Solis.

"Our citizens don't want chickens running through the streets," he added.

The mayor outlined his plan to charge individuals a fee to keep two fowl per household as long as they are caged.

"What is the difference between a chicken and a canary?," he wanted to know.

"If I wanted a duck I could go to the city and register it," the mayor said about his plan.

Public Works Director Javier Lopez quipped, "Maybe I like goats."

"That's where we draw the line, we are not gonna have a cow in the back yard," replied the mayor.

Wally Solis expressed his concern that any changes in the ordinance would lead to unintended consequences.

"'City Limits' is the key word, it doesn't matter if a person has 10 acres if it is in the city limits, - NO."

"If we do this we are going back to the old times," he said.

Mayor de la Paz said, "When I was walking the streets campaigning, I saw a cockatoo this big (holding up his hand to chest level). You are discriminating if you say you can have a cockatoo and not a duck."

Local resident Lynda Luna Sanchez expressed her opinion,

"You don't even do anything about the dogs, let alone the ducks. I had a duck for a long time and you didn't even know about it."

"Realistically," asked Commissioner Joey Mendoza, "How many citizens do we have that own a duck?"

"What about chickens that lay organic eggs? A lot of people are going green," said Sanchez.

"Don't we have a resident who has a peacock?," asked the mayor.

"Why don't we pick it up?," he asked.

"A horse here, a duck there, this all makes it harder for us. We have a problem on FM 498 with chickens. They turn 'em loose at night and they roost on top of cars and scratch the paint," said the public works director.

The mayor seeing that his idea was getting no support, tabled the item for future discussion.

One might conclude that it was a "fowl" day for Lyford, or that the commissioners "ducked" the issue, or that the whole discussion was for the "birds."

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