The phones have been ringing off the hook at Cranston City Hall over the past week and it's not about pensions, taxes or even rats.
No, residents, especially those in Wards 2 and 3, are crowing and crying foul over the recently-passed backyard chicken ordinance.
Carlos Lopez, the city's chief of staff, said today that there have been lots of calls from residents upset about the ordinance. Most of the concerns center around the potential for a boon in the rat population if neighbors begin raising hens and storing food for their egg-layers.
Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung, in an interview, declined elaborating on whether he'll veto the ordinance or not.
Still on the fence, Fung said he's taking the next day to think about the issue, weighing concerns expressed from the countless residents who've called City Hall against assurances from pro-backyard-chicken residents who insist the fears about rats, disease, odors and noise are unfounded.
F on the City Council's meeting last week during which the ordinance was approved.
Fung did say that he's concerned about the additional work that will be required of city employees who, according to the ordinance, will be responsible for inspecting plans for hen houses, issuing permits and enforcing the rules.
"There is an impact on the city," Fung said.
On Twitter, Cranston's State Rep. Arthur B. Handy urged residents to call City Hall to support the measure.
"Tell him responsible chicken keeping is smart," he tweeted.
Other's aren't so enthusiastic.
"nothing like the smell of chickens on a hot and steamy summers day," wrote David C. Meyers on our Facebook page.