Dear Editor:

A Councilperson recently stated that although he has received more “against” comments than “for” comments about raising chickens in Wausau backyards he is prepared to vote for it since he believes that the people who are “for” it just haven’t contacted him. This is a very interesting type of data analysis!

There are many good reasons that raising poultry in the city limits should not be allowed: their droppings smell-especially when wet, they make annoying noises, they contaminate the ground where they range, and mainly they transmit salmonella germs which can cause serious illness and occasionally death. Chickens may spread this germ in their droppings and on their feathers. Flies like chickens and their droppings and may pick up this germ when visiting them. Flies also like potato salad and other picnic foods and may leave salmonella behind when they drop in for a visit. Finally, allowing chickens in the city will cost the taxpayers money because someone will have to inspect and enforce the “chicken laws” and be paid out of the city budget.

No one yet has put forth a single good reason for allowing poultry within the city limits. They are said to be consumers of “table scraps”. This would require throwing garbage in the back yard where it will attract raccoons, feral cats, and other vermin. This is not what we want in our neighborhoods.  It is also said that they eat bugs. But, bugs are part of the eco-system too! Finally it is said that they allow it in other cities. Hardly a thoughtful reason to take the risks of raising fowl in Wausau.

The City Council has many items on its agenda that are important to the citizens of Wausau. This is not one of them. Eggs are available at Kwik Trip.


John Hattenhauer, Wausau

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7 replies on “In your words: Say what? Alderman should listen to constituents”

  1. Very thoughtful and compelling letter Dr. Hattenhauer. I agree with you on all points. Thanks for sharing. I too found Mr. Peckham’s data analysis less than sound. By my count at the most recent City Council meeting, there was a grand total of one person who actually lives in Wausau who spoke in favor of urban chickens. I would not call that a groundswell of support. Too often we see Wausau city government succumb to what I call the Lemming Argument, “Well everybody else is doing it”. That argument never worked for my kids and it should not work for city government either. Kwik Trip indeed!

  2. District 1 elected him —as Liberal as a person gets. Thus, the minority rules. Chickens in Wausau –next cows and pigs. You can always vote him out next
    election. Isn’t it a conflict of interest to write articles, past employee to, for the City Pages –as does another Alderperson, Tom Neal. Spend, Spend, Spend —
    Debt, Debt, Debt.

    1. Forgot to mention…..if there has EVER been one…….one person at City Pages who has been even remotely conservative minded, I’ve missed it. Then again, I couldn’t really care less. CP has been nothing more than a lib fish wrapper for many years now. Seriously doubt if it’ll ever change.

  3. Help me understand this situation.

    One person appears before the Health & Public Safety committee and says she wants chickens. This one person does such an eloquent presentation that all of the members of the committee become mesmerised and vote in favor of the request.

    Then city staff spends only God knows how many hours researching and drafting a proposed ordinance for keeping chickens. Because ONE person requested to keep chickens.

    If this is not the pure definition of stupidity I do not know what is.

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