How ridiculous that Stoughton’s City Council has now determined that a “fee” and inspections are necessary for people to keep bees and hens, something our grandparents and great-grandparents did as a matter of routine and daily life.

I suppose these same brilliant city representatives would also profess to support farmers, agriculture and “sustainable living.” Yet, when a handful of residents want to develop those skills in their households to benefit and feed their families, the Council jumps in right away to tax (“fee”) and inspect, to insure that commoner residents aren’t doing things “wrong.”

I’m assuming the inspector they get for coops (although my great-grandmother’s hens slept under her porch) and hives will be expert in both bee life and hen living, rather than some city employee who just quickly studies up on the topics, or some completely unskilled politician trying somehow to protect us from ourselves.

The number of farmers in this country declines every year, the average age being near 60, so it would seem beneficial to encourage people to learn to raise their own food and develop some farming skills. But not here. Certainly the problems in Washington start at the local level.

Barbara Wiedenbeck

Town of Dunkirk