The other night I was talking with a group of friends, and in the course of a discussion of local news, somebody mentioned the chicken that a local businessman had installed on his roof. We all knew which chicken we were speaking of, since it was a 10 foot aluminum chicken that had been mounted on top of a local business, the Hitching Post. It’s an old marine repair garage that has been converted to a pizza parlor, and it may well be the only pizza place in the state with an actively used hitching post. When it came out that the owners had been arrested for their fowl deed, and that their application for a liquor license was in question because of it, I decided to go to the Apache Junction city council meeting the following Monday and see what all the fuss was about.
It turned out that the liquor license was actually a duplicate license that would allow their restaurant to continue doing business just as they had been, so it was very important to the owners that it not be held up. Here’s where the story gets just a little strange. The city clerk read the application for a recommendation to the state liquor board, and when there was virtually no objection, she told the council that it was their right and duty to recommend to the state that they reject the application, since criminal acts are grounds for rejection, and putting up a chicken without a permit is clearly a criminal act.
After wrangling about the details for nearly half an hour, it seemed that the problem had been just miscommunication. The owner of the restaurant had actually com in an applied for a permit to install his chicken, but the city dropped the ball when it became clear that this was not a sign, but actually a sculpture, and a locally significant one at that. That said, the city had never contacted him back, and when he had a crane available doing other work on the building, he had the chicken bolted to the roof of the restaurant.
When it became apparent that the council would not “punish” the business owner, the City Attorney started shouting that this was a criminal act, and that he would prosecute it as far as he could. When the council finally voted in their normal cryptic manner, it was impossible to tell what the decision had been if you had not listened to the motion, Tho owner sat very still, not sure if he had won or lost his case, and when I turned around and gave him the thumbs up sign, he broke into a puzzled smile.
Later I heard that a judge threw out the criminal case, but that they had to pay the $250 fine. Since people came from all over the valley to see the outlaw chicken, it was probably the cheapest marketing they had done!
This entry was posted
on Friday, December 10th, 2010 at 12:02 am and is filed under BlogIron.com, Miscellaneous.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.