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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Great chicken debate continues in St. James

  • The great chicken debate continued Tuesday afternoon at St. James City Hall, when St. James property owner Alexander Petrov once again came before the city council to fight for his "constitutional right" to keep chickens on his property.
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  • The great chicken debate continued Tuesday afternoon at St. James City Hall, when St. James property owner Alexander Petrov once again came before the city council to fight for his "constitutional right" to keep chickens on his property.
    "... I don't agree," Petrov said of the city ordinance that prohibits keeping livestock within the St. James city limits. "Give me one scientific or safety reason not to have them."
    The mayor and city council, however, have not changed their position on this issue.
    "This is not a fair question," said Mayor Dennis Wilson, who has apparently been the subject of personal attacks via email from Petrov. "We are merely following what is in our code."
    Initially under the impression that Petrov had the chickens euthanized, the mayor was corrected abruptly, when Petrov interjected, "I donated the chickens ... I removed the chickens as I was asked to."
    Wilson also admonished Petrov for his recent inflammatory emails.
    "I object to your personal attacks to me," the mayor said. "When it comes to personal attacks I cannot stand for that."
    City Administrator Jeff Davis said Petrov has been in correspondence with Davis and City Clerk Sarah Wheeler over the past few weeks, at times making derogatory comments.
    Davis said the city has been cooperative with Petrov's wishes.
    Wilson during the meeting even offered to discuss the situation face-to-face over a cup of coffee.
    As for the ordinance banning livestock, no official announcement has been made to revisit the issue for possible modification.
    In other business:
    • The city council approved an ordinance to create handicapped parking on the north side of East Springfield Street.
    • The council approved the mayor's appointments of Melissa Keeney to the library board and Louis Gorman to the cemetery board.
    • Davis informed the council that the city's yearly repaving project, which was postponed from last month, is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 28. The project will repave sections of roads within the city.
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