It’s been five years since Warsaw City Council shot down an ordinance that would have allowed residents to have a few hens in their backyards, but according to two candidates, the issue is still on the minds of voters.
Josh Finch and Chris Plack, both vying for the District 2 seat on council, said the topic has come up numerous times as they campaign door-to-door.
The issue rose to the forefront in 2014, but council members Elaine Call, Diane Quance, Cindy Dobbins and Charlie Smith voted against the proposal to allow as many as five hens on properties in city limits. Council members Mike Klondaris, Jerry Frush and Jeff Grose voted in support of it. Two of the four who voted against are no longer on council. All three who supported it are seeking re-election.
Plack (running as an independent) and Finch (Republican) both said in seperate interviews that they are open to supporting a plan if it includes acceptable conditions. So hypothetically … that means if Klondaris, Frush and Grose are re-elected and remain supportive of the idea, they could have an ally in the second district that could tip the scales on the issue.
If city council does reconsider the topic, they might want to peck around and check out Goshen’s ordinance. Leaders in Goshen approved a plan five years ago. Nearly 50 permits have been issued. The police department reports only minor complaints about the policy and council loosened its regulations in 2018.
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LOFTY ENDORSEMENT — City Council Candidate Chris Plack posted a video endorsement from Tomie Lahren, a Fox News personality. Lahren apparently is willing to offer video endorsements for a small price through a service known as Cameo. Plack said somebody else lined up the endorsement but was willing to post it on his Facebook page. In the video, Lahren describes Plack as a strong conservative candidate and says, “I know you’re an underdog. But guess what? Trump was an underdog too, and look where we are.”
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HEADY ENDORSEMENT — Speaking of endorsements, outgoing State Sen. Randy Head, of Logansport, is making it clear who he supports as his replacement in an upcoming Republican caucus. Four people have filed to fill the vacancy for the District 18 seat.
Head met with 14 Kosciusko County precinct committeemen on Monday at Mad Anthony’s in Warsaw and threw his support behind Cass County Councilwoman Stacey Donato. Other candidates include Jeff Staker, of Denver, Brian Fitzwater, of Rochester, and Jake Adams, of Peru.
Kosciusko County GOP Chair Mike Ragan said he has heard more candidates could file for the seat before the Sept. 9 caucus in Miami County. The district includes Cass, Fulton and Miami counties and portions of Carroll, Kosciusko and Marshall counties.
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MINOR DUST-UP — Almost always, Warsaw City Council budget talks are about as bland and boring as the day is long. But for a split second on Monday night, Aug. 19, there was a momentary dust-up. That’s when City Councilman Jerry Frush asked about the police department’s use of a motorcycle while Police Chief Scott Whitaker was reviewing the department’s 2020 request. The department has had the motorcycle for years but has a $3,500 budget request to begin leasing a new one in 2020. Frush said he’s never seen the motorcycle. Council President Diane Quance (seated next to Frush) said she’s seen it. Whitaker jokingly countered by saying they could drive it by Frush’s home but added that the previous motorcycle’s lease had expired.
Frush called the vehicle a “waste of money.” Whitaker, in turn, thanked him for his input and the discussion ended.
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BIG ROLLOUT — I wrote recently about former Sheriff Bradley Rogers‘ campaign to run for commissioner in Elkhart County. Looking at social media coverage, one would almost assume Rogers is running for a much bigger office than a county-level seat, given the number of big-name endorsements he has already unveiled. State Sen. Blake Doriot, who lives just outside of Syracuse, introduced Rogers at the announcement, saying Rogers would represent everyone and protect their rights. A long list of other endorsements touted by Rogers included State Rep. Curt Nisly (who lives in Milford) and Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes.
Rogers is challenging incumbent Republican Mike Yoder, a Goshen area farmer.
Dan Spalding is the editor of InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.