Amish hold meeting with Auburn Mayor to find compromise

A meeting with the Amish, their attorney Jay Joines, Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes, county attorney Joe Ross, and the Auburn Police Chief took place Tuesday afternoon just outside of the city limits at the home of Amos Mast. The meeting was called by Joines to try and find some “common ground.”

Mast and his son Dan were found guilty in a court of law recently for violating an animal ordinance the city has requiring a collection device to be placed on the horses they drive through town. The Masts are among many who have received citations written by the Auburn Police since the first of the year for the infraction.

Amos and his son have agreed to meet with the city of Auburn to try and come up with a solution to the problem, as the two men will most likely face jail time if they do not adhere to the law. Both still owe fines and court costs as well.

At the meeting a collection device purchased by the City of Auburn was placed on two Amish horses to see not only how they fit, but if they worked. Potatoes were used to simulate the weight of manure. As 40-plus Amish men, woman and children watched, the device was placed for testing.

After a few rides down the gravel drive it seemed the horses did not mind the devise. No actual decisions were made Tuesday, but it was a step in the right direction, said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes.

“This was a very positive meeting,” said Hughes. “Just the fact that we are all here together talking about this is a very, very positive step.”

Attorney Joines agreed saying, “My clients are open to cooperate and want to be good citizens of the community, and if they can, find a solution.”

Joines worked with the Amish and helped position the device. Joines says he grew up working with horses and this is nothing new to him.

“These are good people,” said Joines. “Today is a walking in and sitting at the table day.”

Amos and Dan Mast are scheduled to appear in court July 9.

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