Amish to be discussed at Auburn meeting

By Chris Cooper -

The City of Auburn will be holding its monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 10. On the agenda will be local attorney Jay Joines. Joines represents several Amish community members who have been in trouble with the city for violating the animal ordinance requiring collection devises to be placed on or behind the horses used to pull Amish buggies.

Joines has been trying to bring about a compromise between the City of Auburn and its Amish neighbors for weeks now to no avail. A meeting in June was held at the farm of Amos Mast where the Amish tried out a collection devise owned by the city. However, Amish members did not feel it would work due to what they felt was hurtful to the horse, and unsafe for inexperienced drivers.

Two Amish members were recently jailed for contempt of court after being found guilty by a jury for violating the ordinance. Amos and his son Dan Mast were cited by the Auburn Police for not having the device on their buggies while driving through town. Both refused to pay the fines and court costs associated with the violation, and both were sentenced to jail time by District Judge Ken Williams.

Both Amos and Dan are out of jail now and the violations they were jailed for are expunged by serving time. However, Amos is once again scheduled to appear in court Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. for arraignment for violating the ordinance once again. Also appearing in court that same day is Wilbur Mast, another Amish community member charged with he same offense.

Attorney Joines feels the Amish to be “kind, good, peace loving people.” He has said his clients are not trouble makers, but just trying to live and work among their neighbors.

Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes released a time-line last week in attempts to educate the public on how long the City of Auburn has been dealing with horse manure and complaints from citizens. Hughes feels Auburn is being villainized for the decision to have an ordinance requiring collection devices.

“I haven’t made very many statements about this issue, for one due to pending litigation, however, I believe it is time to speak up and let the public know a little history of what has transpired in our city, as to inform people this issue hasn’t been something that has just popped up. This issue involving our Amish neighbors is a lengthy problem, one we have sought answers to for years before ending on a passage of law to address our community as a whole,” said Hughes. “We have had many meetings with our Amish neighbors concerning the importance of everyone keeping the city streets clear of manure left behind by animals in their control,” continued Hughes. “Recently there has been a great deal of conversation surrounding the Auburn City Council’s decision to require a capture device on large animals. We assure everyone that the decision to do so was a difficult decision that has an eight year history. The situation at hand is not a new occurrence, as some believe, but a situation that has been ongoing for over eight years now.”

The Amish, however, see things a little differently. They feel this is just one more issue the City of Auburn has had with them, and feels there will be more in the future.

Amos has spoken to several others in Amish communities in and around Logan County who have told him not to adhere to the law because it may set a precedent.

It has been rumored the Amish community that lives near the city may move due to the controversy and the law. This would have an economic affect on Auburn as many Amish do business in and around the city.

By Chris Cooper

To contact Chris Cooper, email or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email or call 270-726-8394.

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