Chicken issue could go before Craig voters

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In other action …

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Introduced an ordinance to license pawnbrokers in the City of Craig.

• Approved, 5-0, an amendment to the city budget allowing the repair of the water sanitation plant’s south ditch.

— Council members Jennifer Riley and Byron Willems were absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

After some spirited debate during the last Craig City Council meeting, all was quiet Tuesday night on the topic of domestic chickens inside city limits.

Craig Mayor Terry Carwile, who was absent from the council’s last meeting, opened up the floor for continued discussion on an ordinance that prohibits chickens within city limits.

Enter Craig residents Susan Domer and 11-year-old Jeremy Looper.

Looper, a member of Boy Scouts Troop No. 172, initiated discussion on the topic at the last council meeting.

Domer said she was asked to represent Looper because his parents were not able to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Domer and Looper presented city council members with a draft petition. They said they intend to gather signatures that would put the chicken question on the November election ballot, letting voters decide the issue.

Looper said he is only targeting registered Craig voters for the petition.

According to city guidelines, Looper will need to gather enough signatures to reflect a 10-percent interest among participating voters in the city.

Those numbers fluctuate from year to year depending on voter turnout.

City Clerk and Personnel Director Shirley Seely said that roughly 2,500 registered voters participated in the last election.

Looper, therefore, needs to collect about 250 signatures to get the chicken question on the ballot.

If he can secure enough signatures, the city clerk would have to verify them before validating the initiative.

Craig City Manager Jim Ferree asked council members if he should seek comment from city planning and zoning members regarding how the city ordinance would need to be amended if the chicken question is approved in November.

The mayor said that step isn’t needed.

“Assuming this is now in the hands of the people of Craig,” Carwile said, “I don’t see any need for planning and zoning action at this time.”

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