“In Tree City USA, are you kidding me?” said Jerry James, city councilman, as he explained that a proposed bird feeding ordinance to regulate bird seed and bird feeders may have been misunderstood by residents.
James said his intentions are not to ban bird feeders, but to find a way to address the concerns of his constituents who live in the River Estates, which includes bird seed overflow and rotting seed in yards. At the city council committee meeting Monday night, James said he's had a number of calls during the past week regarding the ordinance and he wanted to make his intentions clear.
“People have their bird feeders, and the birds kick the seed on the ground and they don’t clean it up. The seed rots and what happens; here comes the rats, the raccoons, the possums, the mice and all the other rodents that eat the seeds.”
James said he can count at least four unrelated incidents in the neighborhood on Ruth Avenue, Oakpark, Sylvan and Woodland Roads, where rodents have become a problem. In the video above, James explains he’s not anti-bird, but he wants to help resolve the rodent problem.
“We’re going to revisit it,” said Jerry James, city councilman. “I’m going to have to dig deeper than I did when it comes to checking to see what kind of existing ordinances we do have.”
James wasn’t alone, other members of council, including Carol Klinger, questioned if the current city ordinances already in place, were enough to address the problem or if the Summit County Health Department would have a solution.
Meanwhile, River Estates Resident George Theiss, who has contact the city regarding his neighbor’s habits, said the current ordinances aren’t helping him. City Development Director Sue Truby told council that the yard was inspected twice by the city and on the second visit, they found three bird feeders, two extra ears of corn and bird seed on the patio.
But Theiss said the city’s efforts are not enough. You can watch the neighbors address council with their concerns in the video above.
Even if this fails, James hopes the attention brought to this issue, might influence other residents to start cleaning the areas near their bird feeders. Council decided to hold the ordinance for two weeks while it sorts the details and reviews current ordinances in place.