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Reaction to Commission from woman with chickens

September 21, 2011
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To The Editor:

I have written the Lee County commissioners on behalf of the much publicized "chicken issue". Although I am very disappointed in the way this issue has been handled; the way our family has been made a mockery of; and the citizens of Lee County have been denied "due process" by allowing a proper public hearing on the issue. Our intention was never to break the law, but simply to provide for our family by living a lifestyle that promotes sustainable living skills.

We just wanted to contribute to the community, by teaching and sharing sustainable living practices that are affordable and relatively simple for the average family.

When I discovered that Lee County wanted to be a leader in sustainability through its own "Sustainability Strategy," I thought that we were all on the same team. I wanted to be a part of that strategy by promoting "personal sustainability" that would ultimately lead to the bigger picture the county has put forth.

I guess I was wrong.

We have received code violations for our chickens and for apparently not having the proper permit for our chicken coop. We will comply with the county's regulations and dismantle our coop and do our best to re-home our "girls." We will also have to dig up our vegetable gardens, as we will not be able to sustain them with the necessary soil amendments that our chickens supply. Our hens are a big part of our garden's life-cycle and when they are removed, the gardens will not thrive.

Because of this great loss to the investment we made in our food supply and the lack of decent employment here in Lee County, our daughter, Emma, will not only be saying "goodbye" to her favorite pet chickens, but will also be saying "goodbye" to her daddy, as he travels out of the state to seek better employment to sustain our family.

This is a sad day for our family in aspects members of the Lee County Commission can never fathom as politicians. The outcome of this has created ripples that will never fade.

Thanks to those on the Commission who did support us. I look forward to working together with them in the near future to help this community and families like ours be more "sustainable living friendly."

My hope is that someday there will be someone in those seats that will remember the real reason they have those seats - and that is "public service."

Dianna Caminos

Lehigh Acres



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