The media circus, that is!
After reaching dead end after dead end, it forced my husband and I to reevaluate our methodology. While some would have started using their ‘stinger’ at that point, I continued to keep this all about the bees and to rise above it all. As I had said in an earlier post, I was not doing any interviews in an effort to be 100% engaged with the City in resolving this issue through conversation. I pleaded with numerous individuals to give our hive a “stay of execution” while we continued to work with the City. The individual who I was told could have provided that stay decided not to even hear me out.
So I receive a call from a reporter I know at Port Washington-Saukville Patch asking to do a follow-up interview, since she did the initial article on our family’s urban bee hive. She was completely understanding of why I wasn’t comfortable doing an interview, and she sounded somewhat upset that we were being “shut down” because of the article she wrote. However, while I did not do an interview, she did post an article online detailing the letter the City Attorney sent us, which started quite a buzz in town. In a comment left on the article, a former Alderman stated that a few years back when he was interested in beekeeping, he spoke with the City Administrator about whether it was allowed in the City limits, and he was given the same answer as I was, although according to the letter from the City Attorney, my conversation with the City Administrator never occurred.
That Monday and Tuesday (the 17th and 18th) were a blur, just a flurry of phone calls and emails coming in… and this after a week of begging people to speak with me, to call me, to have a discussion with me. A reporter from the Ozaukee Press, our County newspaper, got wind of what was going on and did a feature article about it. It made the radar of a local blogger. Even our Fox affiliate out of Milwaukee came and did an interview on us. It was crazy! And all the while, we were preparing for our City Council Meeting on Tuesday the 18th, planning to go and appeal for understanding and compassion, and a chance to enter into dialogue with the City officials about adopting a responsible, educated bee ordinance.
About 2 hours before the Council Meeting, they Mayor called me. He said, as Chairman of the Planning Commission, he amended the agenda and put the issue of beekeeping regulations as new business to be discussed. He stated that he couldn’t promise any outcome, but said that the meeting would be on Thursday (the 20th) and to attend and be prepared for it. I told him that I was elated, that all I had been requesting was a seat at the discussion table, a forum to be able to share my information with others, and finally… we were invited.
We attended the City Council meeting that night to promote awareness, to give voice to what we were going through and what we were planning, that it was being directed to the Planning Commission and, thankfully, there were also two community members there in support of us.
Now on to the Planning Commission! (and much more media…)