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Mayor of Plymouth refused to debate chicken issue


This news story was published on January 7, 2012.
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(Op-ed and video provided toNorthIowaToday.com by James Kleven of Mason City, who attended the Plymouth City Council meeting on January 5th, 2012.)

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The newly appointed mayor of  Plymouth, Mark Harrington, called to order the first city council meeting of the new year on January 5, 2012 at seven p.m. at City Hall.  Roll was taken and the tentative agenda was approved. They acknowledged visitors and public forum.

The first item on the tentative agenda was skipped; this was to address the issue to which brought 15-20 townspeople to support their neighbor (raising chickens within the city limits.) The mayor turned the floor over to Mr. Howard, who was trying to discuss changing of the poultry ordinance (to allow raising chickens inside city limits, which is not allowed, but done so by some residents.) Mr. Howard was notified that he was not in compliance with the city ordinance that has outlawed raising chickens. Mr. Howard went to the city council meeting to address the issue, with signatures from 90 of 98 residents in support of changing the ordinance. The city council said they would check other city ordinances to compare and figure out how to write a new ordinance. Mr. Howard did not attend the December meeting, but as of January’s meeting the city had checked with one community to compare ordinances and that was the city of Belmond, IA. The mayor let Mr. Howard speak for less than two minutes before the mayor was on the defense.  The mayor refused to listen, raised his voice, and would not answer any questions.

Mr. Howard and the residents that came in support tried to ask questions only to be told it’s closed, done!  And then the mayor tried to discredit the validity of the signatures, of which he had 129 this time. The Mayor claimed, ”he didn’t know how to change the ordinance” nor the process to do so. “It’s not as easy as you think. It’s a long drawn out process. The matter is closed we have taken care of this. As long as I’m mayor we’re not going around in circles with you. And I’m the mayor.  The matter is finished you are wasting everybody’s time,” The mayor said.

The mayor then adjourned the meeting, only to call the law, retreat to the backroom and abandon the rest of the council which was still seated, to absorb the rest of the barrage of questions, facts and opinions from the now frustrated, scorned, constituents.  At that point the only true discussion of the issue was done and that was with decorum by council member Howie Berman and Jeff Robak, only.  It was after the new mayor had sequestered himself to the back room and closed the minutes.  The sheriff’s office showed up and Mr. Howard was escorted out of the meeting. Democracy in action it was not!

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49 Responses to Mayor of Plymouth refused to debate chicken issue

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 9, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Interesting microcosm of American Politics. Textbook example of the dictatorship behind the democracy. Small town person tries to address issue and is shutdown with a curt “People do not matter”. I’m not from Plymouth, but grew up in Westfield, IA,

  2. Avatar

    Johnny Rotten Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    We’re just going around in circles here…
    I found this video just fascinating. Could of watched it all night..
    Did the guy get arrested for nothing?

  3. Avatar

    Bill Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    These major US cities allow backyard hens. Why is the Mayor and City Council intent in keeping Plymouth in the 1950s?

    https://billingsbackyardhens.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/major-us-cities-and-nearby-states-allowing-urban-hens/

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      August 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      We have a neighbor here in Mason City that has chickens. I think they are only allowed so many but they do have them.

      • Avatar

        Bill Reply Report comment

        August 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm

        I legally have hens in Albert Lea. I have friends with chickens in Oakland CA, West St. Paul MN, St. Paul MN, and Minneapolis MN.

  4. Avatar

    MC Resident Reply Report comment

    January 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    What’s the lastest on the mayor and the chickens??

    • Avatar

      Christine Reply Report comment

      May 19, 2012 at 7:01 am

      Can not believe this mayor said the people of Plymouth’s signatures “mean nothing” and “do not matter”. He needs to be fired.

  5. Avatar

    Grew up in Plymouth Reply Report comment

    January 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    “Who’s gonna complain about a few chickens?” The same type of people who complain about a couple of weiner dogs running loose, occassionally, in a quiet neighborhood, with 11 homes in the immediate vicinity. All of the neighbors in the “affected” area know each other, and have been friends for years, except for those residents who continually lodge complaints. The people who are going to complain are the people who move in from larger municipalities, who want to keep that “big city” mentallity and feel around them. IT’S PLYMOUTH, for crying out loud!!!
    As for the chicken ordinance, I think there is probably more that needs to be looked into than just 120-some signatures of support. Frankly, those people who signed the petition probably are not as passionate about the issue as the person who gathered them, and could really care less if the ordinance is changed.
    Health issues do need to be considered, as chickens are technically livestock, and let’s face it, are not clean animals…but then what animals are “clean”? If changing the ordinance is really something Mr. Howard wants to do, maybe he should conduct thorough research into the reason for the ordinance, and find out why the ordinance exists and what he needs to do to get it changed, and go through those proper channels. Then, he would have a sturdy leg to stand on in the issue. On the same note, these city council members also need to do their part, as public servants, and guide this gentleman in the process. Surely the city council members can also educate themselves on the ordinance, the reason for it, and the process of changing the ordinances. I highly suspect this is not the first time a resident has challenged an existing ordinance, and requested a change. And, I guarantee it will not be the last time it happens either. Everyone involved in this would be wise to become better informed. I realize the council members get little reimbursement back for their efforts (what with their whooping $1/year salary), however, as residents of the town as well, it would be in their best interest to know about the ordinances, laws and general regulations.
    The bottom line is there are many things that could have been done differently, by both parties, to avoid this entire embarrassing display of small-town “politics” at work.

    • Avatar

      Grew up in Plymouth Reply Report comment

      January 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      P.S. No, I do not live in Plymouth, nor do I reside in the North Iowa area now. After seeing this video, who could blame me?

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 20, 2012 at 2:58 am

    let craig have some chickens, what’s the big deal. the mayor needs to get out if he doesn’t know how an ordinance is passed.

  7. Avatar

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  8. Avatar

    Plymouth resident Reply Report comment

    January 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve lived in Plymouth for decades. Vast majority of our residents have a live-and-let-live approach to daily life. We don’t really care what you do as long as you aren’t bothering anyone else. Raising chickens in town is a different matter. Mayor may not have expressed himself well, but the city ordinance prohibits raising livestock within the city limits, including chickens, cows, horses, ducks, pigs, sheep, llamas, or whatever. I agree with the ordinance and I support the city council and mayor in enforcing this ordinance. This is not a personal-rights issue. It’s a public health issue. The city council and mayor have responsibility not to allow something that will endanger the health of the city’s residents. That’s why dogs and cats must have rabies shots, and that’s why livestock cannot be raised within the city limits. I was not asked to sign the petition. I would not have done so if asked. Also, 97 signatures on a petition does not prove that 90% of the people in Plymouth want chickens. It just means that 97 individuals signed a piece of paper. Some may actually support changing the ordinance to allow the raising of chickens. Others may have signed the petition just to get someone off their property. My opinion: you do not have the right to raise chickens or any other livestock in town and risk bringing in disease, parasites, allergies, or any other potential health risks that come with that activity. That tramples MY right to live in town away from those risks. And you do not have the right to reduce the property values of your neighbors by having chickens in your back yard. If raising chickens means that much to you, feel free to raise all the chickens you want on a farm or an acreage or anywhere else it’s legal to do so.

    • Avatar

      plymouth resident Reply Report comment

      January 20, 2012 at 3:08 am

      there is a dairy in the city limits. shut em down. it’s in the ordinance. long live the chickens!!!

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Ah the chicken scandal of Plymouth, IA!!!!!!

  10. Avatar

    Let's eat those chickens! Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Why don’t you folks in Plymouth just eat a chicken once in a while. Then send Mr. Howard a thank you not for supper!

    Wouldn’t be long if enough folks ate chicken your roaming chicken problem would be solved.

  11. Avatar

    Craig Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    buzz crumbcutter said:”I disagree with suspending any actions or citations in this case. Wrong is wrong and now is not the time to cry for a do-over. Now it’s 10 chickens are OK, next it will be, well I only have 12 so what’s the big deal? ”

    So you don’t think continueing to push for citation demonstrates that they have no respect for the residents who’s signatures were gathered? That they have no intent to even concider changing the ordinace?

    Ya know,.. there isn’t a house in town that is more than 2 blocks from a field.
    Many of the homes are backed up to a field or the railroad tracks that cut Plymouth in half.
    There is even a dairy in town so it wouldn’t bother me if some locations had more than 10, no roosters of crowing age.
    The first house out of town to the south has 25 freereange chickens, burning Jeff and Howie’s eyes with their evil stares, ha. I still wonder what it is about 2 red hens in my yard that freaks them out so bad. Even after showing Howie my cages/pen the other day he could only say, “We voted on it”, claiming he abstained. The “Maybe if you showed me a cage/pen…” was just another hoop to jump through that got moved when I made it through.
    Doesn’t look like they want to come on here and explain it. Not really their venue, can’t cut people off, avoid questions and go off topic as easily without looking goofy, and it’s easier to get them back on track. I think it’s good to have time to think about what you are going to say, and when the Mayor loses track he can just reread it instead of yelling about circles.
    I couldn’t find anyone who wanted 10, some wanted to raise chicks with their kids, many are older folks who raised them as a child themselves and realise how they can pull a neighborhood together, probably hoping one of their neighbors will share fresh eggs with them, ha. If they allowed 10, few people would want that many. But if we can get some neighborhoods to start a few; at least the infrastructure would be in place when hard times hit.

  12. Avatar

    Watchdog Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    There is absolutely no excuse for Howard’s behavior and conduct at the council meeting. Watching the video, the Mayor and Council bent over backwards listening to a DEMAND that Howard was making. Howard was not going to take no for an answer. His petition is an excuse to act like an asshole.

    Personally I think Howard is a chickenshit!

    Someone needs to take him out behind the woodshed and teach him some manners.

  13. Avatar

    Craig Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Dana said: “Also I would like to point out that Craig didn’t start to get upset until the mayor told him that the subject was closed…end of discussion. ”
    No, I think it was when I had about a minute to find out why Howie didn’t check other ordnances to see how to write ours, like he said he would.
    I was asking questions when suddenly Mark bursts out with one of his “going in circles” comments. Usually that means the same question has been asked and answered. No question/answer had been repeated while trying to figure out why Howie pretended to be supportive and put virtually no effort into finding an ordinance, then called the lawyer on me.
    Looking at the video it seems like a pattern of Mark’s. When he loses track of what someone is saying and doesn’t want to listen to it; he declares they are “talking in circles” and shuts the discussion down. Like that’s his go-to when he can’t discuss something.
    It was very frustrating trying to have a discussion with him doing that. Then him shutting it down completely.
    The only reason they could figure out between the 2 city council members was because they saw them free ranging.
    A little chicken knowledge for you.
    You need a coup and caged in area for chickens. I have a chicken tractor. A caged-in area attached to a coup that fits over a garden bed they till the soil, eat the bugs/weeds and fertilise it.
    It’s also nice to let them get out and run/flap stretch their wings and clean up around the wood pile.
    With all the stray dogs in town, the owls, hawks, cats etc.; it isn’t safe to let them freerange when I’m not close by.
    My main concern is I don’t want them going on my neighbor’s property. They went over to visit her while she was rakeing this fall. I was with them in the garden and told her I would “herd” them back over to my yard if she wanted. She grew up near 1000 chickens so 2 red hens scratching and singing are cute to her. “Just don’t let them poop on my front steps”. These 2 little red hens did make their way over there before I spotted them. Heather was cool about it but Charlie was trying to stay on the opposite side of a bush. I looked up because the neighbors were tapping on the window and laughing at me.
    I once thought they wouldn’t cross the road because they would run right up to it and stop. I don’t know why but one day they did.
    I was told that the first beast an animal trainer is giving to train is a chicken. I keep thinking it’s possible to train them to stay in the back part of my yard. If I am in the yard with them and chase them back everytime they cross the line. It’s a hastle to stop what I’m doing every 5 minutes to see what they are up to. So I don’t let them out often. I’ve spent too much time chasing them back into the yard, with the neighbors laughing.
    Howie (not being disrespectful, that’s the name he prefers. That’s what everyone calls him) thought I didn’t have a coup or cage? That they always freerange?
    The “wrong procedure”, “going in circles”, “needs a cage”. They are all hollow excuses. for stopping us from having chickens. I’m not sure they even know the real reason, if they do; they aren’t saying.

  14. Avatar

    Peter Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I also think it would go a long way in showing goodwill if the Council would suspend any citations Mr. Howard may have been issued, while they sort out this business of allowing or disallowing chickens. Likewise I think Craig should apologize to the Mayor and the Council and begin anew at the next meeting- conducting the exchange with civility and mutual respect. Hopefully it will be water under the bridge, and together they can draft an ordinance that works for the people of Plymouth.

    • Avatar

      Craig Reply Report comment

      January 9, 2012 at 1:08 am

      Kayla, thanks for the background info on Mark’s election and I have to agree; while I thought he was running roughshod over the people of Plymouth;
      Personal attacks just show a week arguement, lack of focus, an inability to stay on topic.
      I do wish you had put more thought into the paragraph starting with “now to the ordinance” before you posted it. One silly comment after another,.. maybe I should pack up everything I own and leave the home I’ve been in for nearly 30 years so I can have 2 hens? hahahahaha. and that wasn’t even the sillyest.

      Peter; I’m still wondering if that 429 includes children? People outside city limits? Because I can’t imagine where I’d find 300 more signatures. Maybe 100 max. I think my survey represents 1/2 to 2/3 of the adult pop. It is the most precise poll of any topic ever done in Plymouth.
      Since last year Jeff has been waiving his survey as the will of the people. I accused him of translating it to mean what he wanted. When asked to translate the results of the only question on his survey that justified using the ordinances to threaten people he sat with his mouth open and said nothing. An actual involuntary jaw drop, then changed to another question that had nothing to do with ordinance inforcement. Fianlly declaring that it was the written complaints of 10 people out of the 75 who responded that agreed with his agenda. Comments contrary were ignored.
      Either way if he was going to wave the will of the people as the reason for writing the firewood ordinance; then maybe he will abide by the will of the people on this chicken issue. The petition started out as just going to be sigs of those in favor,.. but I realised they would never give me a set number of sigs needed, no matter how many I got they would require more and wouldn’t respect it even if I met their number.. so it turned into a very precise and well represented survey that they have no respect for, ha.
      At least I don’t have to listen to Jeff fake his concern for the will of the people any more.
      I did alot of walking, knocking, talking and most people think 10 is a good limit while continueing the ban on roosters. That’s less than any other ordinance I’ve seen that allows chickens.
      Most people in Plymouth know that the city council meetings are usually empty. It’s very rare to have that many people take the time to attend the meeting.
      Last time neighbors came to stand up for neighbors was about a year ago when the city council sent out a bunch of mess notices.
      Now they pick on us one at a time. Anyone trying to be sustainable, that can work on their own car, heat with firewood, grow their own food.
      Howie did walk past my house this summer, with his little grandson. I said, “Hey Howie check out my chickens” he said (something like)”look junior chickens”. They were hanging around the yard with me. Didn’t burn his eyes then.
      Now that’s the only excuse he can come up with.
      Hollow excuses, to cover the real reason.
      And Peter you are right. If they had any intent to respect the signatures they would call off they lawyer.
      I have 2 council votes in favor of chickens. Just need one more.

    • Avatar

      Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

      January 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      I disagree with suspending any actions or citations in this case. Wrong is wrong and now is not the time to cry for a do-over. Now it’s 10 chickens are OK, next it will be, well I only have 12 so what’s the big deal? And….maybe you should move to Plymouth since you have all the answers on everything else. You could even help design their septic system.

  15. Avatar

    Kayla Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I don’t know how many of you are actually from Plymouth or even know how the mayoral electiot went down but let me fill you in. Mark was written in as a canidate to win. He didn’t even vote for hinself and was shocked when he won. He didn’t ask for this position but it was what the people wanted and he is doing the best he can. You can call him uneducated and attack his personality all you want but that doesn’t make it true. It just shows how uneducated and immiture you are, publicly attacking a man you don’t even know. He wasn’t written in just because he wanted power. He doesn’t at all. He just wants to do the best he can for his community. That’s why he volunteers at his church every week and is part of a local Boy Scouts of America troop. He is always doing good for his community and that’s why he was elected.

    How can you call it immiture for him to end the meeting? How would you feel if you just got elected mayor and you didn’t even know you were a possible canidate then you had to deal with this disaster? Wouldn’t you be a little overwhelmed too? Yes, he has served on the councle before and other committes so he should know what to expect. But that doesn’t mean that he was any less overwhelmed. He was doing what he thought was right. He was doing his best for the community that elected him. He’s the mayor, he’s supposed to control the meeting. That doesn’t make him a dictator. He just a man like you trying to do his best in this world and help his community. He got thrown into this position and I think he is doing a great job.

    Now to the ordinance. It is inhumane to cage chickens. They need space to roam and live. This being said, I do not think the yards in Plymouth are adequate space to raise these chickens humanely. If he wants to raise chickens he must do so within the laws as anyone else. If he wishes to contine to raise his chickens maybe he should move outside city limits. If he wishes to overturn the ordinance he needs to do his research. If he wants the ordinance overturned he needs to look into what other citys have as ordinances, what are the benefits of changing it, present the facts, propose what it should be changed to (actally write up some sort of draft). If he wants the ordinance changed he needs to do the work and it’s going to take a lot more than just signatures. He need to understand the process of how to get an ordinance changed and then do it. You can’t expect the counsle to just roll over for you if you have a bunch of signatures on a piece of paper. There is a process for a reason.

    The point of all this is watch what you say and think before you speak. Before you attack someone you don’t know do your research and know the whole story. Don’t just speak in ignorance. Put yourself in their position and ask yourself would I do any different? And if you would do different don’t attack him for his faults but offer constructive critisim for your fellow man. Also, the government is about process. Everything has a specific way it happens so if you wish to change something know the process, follow it, present the facts, and speak kindly. People react better to kindness than demands.

    • Avatar

      Progressive Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      I take it you’re a relative of the mayor…maybe the mayor should display respect for the constituents and learn the governmental process. Throwing your hands up and calling the police is not a professional manner in which to conduct business or governmental matters. This creates division and promotes an “us against them” attitude.

  16. Avatar

    Dana Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Craig where are your manners? Didnt your mama tell you to always say please? Seems to me that the city council is saying that they dont want chickens because they will run around. If thats the case then lift the ban on chickens and write an ordinance to include how many you can have and a rule stating that you cant let them run around. How hard is that? Craig has two chickens that roam free when Craig is outside in his yard. What is the big deal.
    Also I would like to point out that Craig didn’t start to get upset until the mayor told him that the subject was closed…end of discussion. I too would be a little unnerved if someone made the decision to just end a discussion as if to imply that he was above me and his decision was ‘IT’. What are city council meetings even for if one cant attend and speak his mind?
    Although Craig’s ways of getting them to listen may have not of worked at the city council meeting this time, there will be more meetings and I’m sure Craig will be there. And hopefully, although I dont see this happening, a lesson was learned on both sides and maybe this time the mayor will just open his ears. My God, we’re talking two chickens here! Let the man have his chickens….please.

  17. Avatar

    Peter Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 10:31 am

    In response to Craig’s comments below I will say this: I personally feel that allowing chickens for personal food supply in a town such as Plymouth should be allowed and is a good thing…especially in today’s world of failing economics, and salmonella outbreaks from mass chicken production facilities. The point however that myself and many other people are making on here is that you need to re-adjust your style as a mouthpiece for all those signatures you collected. In all the city council meetings I’ve witnessed, from Iowa City to Mason City, anytime someone takes the floor with a communication style such as you displayed…it’s going to end badly. Communication is a 2 way street, and you have to show a little smoothing and finesse, (even if you are overwhelmingly supported…which as of date you are not,) to the council because they are in fact the elected body to make the decisions. It can go a couple of ways for you. You either adjust your diplomacy, or you run for mayor or council yourself and win. I mentioned before, passions run high…but the best way to win is to present the facts, present the signatures (collect more) and make the case for why the townspeople would benefit from having hens. And p.s….show up for the meetings.

  18. Avatar

    Progressive Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 9:41 am

    When is the next council meeting, and will a video be available for viewing on-line?

  19. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

    After watching the video it is obvious that Mr. Howard is has a problem listening. He also thinks the world revolves around him, and his chickens.

    NOT!

    If I had signed his petition and then listened to his DEMAND for an ordinance to justify and allow his dis-regard for the rule of law, I would ask that my name be taken off his petition.

    My advice to the Mayor and Council of Plymouth, write an ordinance that allows a home owner to own Pigeons/Rabbits/Chickens ect. that would have to be confined to a cage and not offensive to any neighbor.

    No commercial raising of chickens inside the city limes, citing health hazards. (and there are) They are very dirty, many people are allergic to the dander and the smell can be nasty if their cages not cleaned regularly.

    I would definitely limit the square feet allowed for the confinement of birds and make sure it was at the back of the lot with a 25 setback from their neighbors.

    As far as removing Mr. Howard from the meeting, the Mayor and Council conducted themselves the best they could under these circumstances. I would also suggest boning up on “Roberts Rules of Order”, for conducting a council meeting.

    Good luck to all you folks in Plymouth. I would not be too quick to give my support to Mr. Howard who is obviously not a good neighbor or team player!

    • Avatar

      Peter Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I would disagree that the chickens should be confined to cages. This is the surest way to make conditions unhealthy. They are animals, not robots, and they need to be able to exercise and roam around a bit. Clip their wings, put them in coops at night, but allow them some fenced in space to roam. It doesn’t have to be much, but at least some area. Perhaps 9’x9′ for 3-4 chickens.

    • Avatar

      Craig Reply Report comment

      January 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      You are assuming I’m a bad neighbor.
      My neighbors are laughing at you.
      I see why you are anon. saying things you know nothing about, things you are ashamed of.

  20. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 7:26 am

    The meeting was out of control and Mr. Howard was way out of order. If there is an ordinance in place, it needs to be followed until such time it is amended. It also appears that there was quorum of the council present discussing the issue after the meeting was adjourned and while no action was taken, the council should be very careful regarding the open meetings laws.

  21. Avatar

    Craig Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Peter said: Technically he does not yet possess a majority as there are approximately 429 residents in Plymouth and he has collected 30% of signatures in favor of changing the ordinance. This is a good number to begin debating the issue”

    I think that 429 number includes children. Only signatures of those over 18 were collected.
    Common misconception that only positive signatures were collected, this was a poll of the community.

    ” Mr. Howard appears to just expect that because he brought in some signatures the Council should have ready his freshly prepared Chicken Ordinance”
    Yes, I do appear to expect that.
    Because that’s what they said they would do 2 months ago when I first brought them the survey results.
    Howie said he would check other city ordinances. And he admits he didn’t put forth the effort he said he would. Couldn’t find one in a months time.
    True if I hadn’t trusted them to do what they said they would, I would have arrived at last months meeting to find Howie did nothing he said he would and had no intent to honor the survey.
    I was shocked,.. and did expect better of them.

  22. Avatar

    Craig Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Captain Fred said: “And what if someone came to the Council meeting with 97… Or 127… Or 125… Or whatever…signatures on a petition saying that they are in favor banning dog rabies shots requirements within the city limits? Is the Council supposed to say: “Okay. You have a petition. No more rabies vaccinations required???”
    First of all it wasn’t a petition, that would have allowed only signatures in favor of chickens.
    Negative signatures were searched out and not avoided.
    It was an accurate poll of what the community wants.
    …and the fact you have to use such an extreme example: do you really think people would vote to end rabies vaccines? Not really a question, everyone knows the answer. Just pointing out what a rediculous example you gave. Makes your arguement sound weak.
    Much like the Mayors cow petition arguement, knowing such a survay wouldn’t have 90% support amongst the people of Plymouth. Hell I wouldn’t even support that.
    Interesting point on that. There is a dairy within City limits, ha. So we already have cows in town.

    • Avatar

      Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

      There may be a dairy in town, but was it there before an ordinance was put in place restricting such a practice. Personally, I feel that you are in violation of the current ordinance if in fact it says that you can not raise chickens in town and you had just better hope and pray that you aren’t cited and fined for being in violation of a current city ordinance. For you to totally disregard the rule of law and then act the way you did was, in my opinion, wrong. I feel the Mayor was well within his right in asking you to be removed. It is his meeting to run as he sees fit, like it or not. I also find it odd that someone just happened to show up at this particular council meeting to video tape it. It’s just too bad the person doing the taping didn’t show you standing there making an ass out of your self, so the whole world could see that as well.

  23. Avatar

    Buzz Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Sounds like the (a hmmmm) Mayor of Mason City. Couple more drinks and that’s how he’s ready to handle it all. All puffed up and his way or no way.

  24. Avatar

    Progressive Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    @Captain Fred…Granted the mayor does not have a formal education, but that is not an excuse to act like a jerk. When the mayor left the council meeting to sit next door, that clearly showed how immature he is.

    I thought it was totally out of line to call the sheriff’s department. Obviously, the mayor feels that he can run the council meetings and disregard the principle of free speech. Like the constituent said, he was never asked to leave, yet the mayor calls the police…Looks like Plymouth has itself a dictator.

    • Avatar

      Captain Fred Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Mr./Ms. Progressive:
      It IS the Mayor’s RESPONSIBILITY and DUTY to maintain PEACE and proper DECORUM at City Council meetings. How is the Council supposed to function properly is they are being held hostage by someone that flat-out REFUSES to accept laws/statutes/ordinances simply because he/she disagrees with them? The ONLY major problem I saw here was that after the meeting was OFFICIALLY ADJOURNED, ALL of the Council members should have left the room. OR they should have been ordered to remain silent until the inane disruption was removed.

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    Captain Fred Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    This is PLYMOUTH, IOWA. NOT Des Moines…Cedar Rapids…New York City…Minneapolis…or any other large metropolitan area with THOUSANDS of voters. Major cities can AFFORD (financially) to attract (and hire) well-educated leaders. Perhaps if Plymouth, Iowa were willing (and ABLE) to pay civic leaders tens of thousands of dollars per year, the Mayor and City Council positions would be filled with people that have formal educations and more extensive experience and knowledge of laws, ordinances, procedures, etc.
    But alas, this is not the case in Plymouth and other small towns, where public servants are NOT professional politicians. They are basically volunteers who are TRYING to serve the public to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
    THAT “preamble” aside, I thought the Mayor was VERY patient for allowing Mr. Howard to continue his NONSENSICAL RANT so long before finally calling law enforcement to have him removed.
    But what I really found VERY disturbing here was the length of time it took for a deputy to arrive at City Hall. I’m sure that you have ALL heard of people “snapping” and getting VERY VIOLENT at such meetings.

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    terry Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    bet this dumbass doesnt get any votes next time!! well maybe his own vote!!

  27. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I feel sorry for the mayor and council. The people in the audience were appalling. Makes Mason City loom wonderful.

    • Avatar

      Progressive Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      HAHAHA…you feel sorry for the mayor??? Are you related to him or is this him using an “anonymous” name. He’s a bully and obviously wanted this position to have authority and doesn’t have any real knowledge of running a town, much less anything else.

    • Avatar

      Captain Fred Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      The Mayor was VERY patient with Mr. Howard. How many times did HE violate procedure?
      And what if someone came to the Council meeting with 97… Or 127… Or 125… Or whatever…signatures on a petition saying that they are in favor banning dog rabies shots requirements within the city limits? Is the Council supposed to say: “Okay. You have a petition. No more rabies vaccinations required???

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

      No, not the mayor or a friend. For thebrcord, I have only driven through Plymouth twice in my life. However, the way the public behaved at the meeting was inappropriate. The Mayor did his best to handle the situation. There may be a lot of people in Plumouth who support changing the chicken ordinance but the Council needs to put a lot of research into it. How many chickens should be allowed? Where should they be allowed in town? Where on a lot should they be kept! Should they be fenced in? In a coop? How will the owner handle the manure? How will thebCitybhandle complaints from the neighbors if the owner doesn’t manage the chickens well or clean up after them? What about noise? Will roosters be allowed? I have no problem with a small flock of layers in town, IF tHey are well managed. The Mayor was right , changing an ordinance can and should take a while.

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    slick willy Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Mr, Howard your full of chicken shit, put the damn chickens in a cage just like dogs have to be on a leash and everyone will be happy. Give the major a chicken every once in awhile and make him happy.

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    Progressive Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    This mayor used to work at the same place I did. Total jerk. I wasn’t surprised to see how he acted at this meeting. I was surprised to see he was a mayor. Arrogance and a power trip is what he is on.
    The mayor’s lack of social skills and education are obvious. He does not conduct himself in a professional manner, and may not have the intellectual capacity for the role of mayor. Feel sorry for the residents of Plymouth.

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    Peter Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    My personal feelings on this after watching the video is that Mr. Howard doesn’t know how to conduct himself in a city council meeting. Out of the gate he’s accusatory and caustic towards the council. Technically he does not yet possess a majority as there are approximately 429 residents in Plymouth and he has collected 30% of signatures in favor of changing the ordinance. This is a good number to begin debating the issue…but Mr. Howard appears to just expect that because he brought in some signatures the Council should have ready his freshly prepared Chicken Ordinance…never mind Mr. Howard didn’t show up for the last December meeting. I’m sure passions run high, but this is an example of how not to change an ordinance by a fellow that needs to learn decorum and manners himself. A little diplomacy goes a long way, and it’s obvious from watching the video that the Council and Mayor are willing to work with Mr. Howard…but he seems more bent on voicing his anger, than actually getting a resolution passed.

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    Jester Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    How DARE them call the people that have voted for this liars…What a mess…I am sending this to youtube, this council is a mess….I would seek out a lawyer for some pro bono suing….Trying to blame the One person because he didn’t show up one week….Are we sure this isn’t Mayberry RFD?

    • Avatar

      Captain Fred Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      “Jester” needs to WATCH the video with an OPEN MIND. Sometimes, the “little guy” is NOT in the right!

    • Avatar

      Captain Fred Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      Mr./Ms. Joker:
      I seriously doubt that this video will go “viral” on youtube. And even if it did, I, for one, would CERTAINLY not want the World to know that I agree with Mr. Howard’s foolish rants. Just saying…

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    Patriot Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Not to late to remove the newly seated mayor. Sounds as if he has no idea what he is doing or is willing to learn how to do it.