Tonight, The High Street Hot Dog Man Could Be Forced to Move

So tonight Morgantown’s City Council votes on an amendment to current ordinances that will influence where our late-night food vendors place their carts. Check page 37 of this pdf. 

You’ve probably heard about this – “the petition to keep the Hot Dog Man on High Street?

Yeah, your concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Now City Council is attempting to push this law through at the end of Finals Week, right when there aren’t any students around to voice their opinions.

Tonight, if City Council passes this amendment to 905.02, no food vendors will be permitted on the sidewalk of the 300 block of High Street between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. This only affects one single vendor, currently  – Joseph Byrd, or “The Birdman.” 

Watch the video below to learn his full story.

EDIT: I just spoke to several knowledgeable sources about this ordinance. There seems to be intense confusion. More than anything people need to understand this is not a personal attack on Birdman – it’s about safety. I’m told because Birdman is retreated into the enclave in front of CoolRidge, he’s not technically on the sidewalk and is exempt from this law. The building he’s in front of is owned by George Papandreas, a local business owner.

However, like I said, there’s a lot of confusion about this. It seems like everyone involved has a different understanding of the law and it’s stipulations, which is a problem in itself. I implore you – please come to this meeting tonight and be civil!

You have one last chance to have your voice heard. Go to the Morgantown City Council Meeting tonight at 7:00pm at 389 Spruce Street. There will be a public hearing on the law, and you will have an opportunity to speak.

Tonight I will be live-tweeting the meeting.


28 thoughts on “Tonight, The High Street Hot Dog Man Could Be Forced to Move

  1. This is crazy to me. Growing up in Morgantown, I’ve known Bird almost all my life. He is a very positive person who doesn’t turn any person away. Support this man.

  2. Pingback: Tonight, The High Street Hot Dog Man Could Be Forced to Leave Forever

  3. This does not only effect Birdman. There are several food trucks and carts that are limited and now potentially harmed by this ordinance.

  4. know this man personally and I have seen this man Do everything from break up fights to help someone that was close to alcohol poisoning by offering his food to help sober her up…… bird-man has a bigger place in Morgantown than any of us lend your voice and your signature to help a small business grow …… strategic marketing and location is what makes small business thrive.

    so, telling someone where they can sell their hot dogs or where they can have there stand is wrong its things like this that is killing our country ….. if you are fallowing the city ordinances and the law then you should be left alone …… Why fix something that isn’t broke? ……

    good luck BIRD-MAN.

  5. Byrd is one of the nicest vendors out there. I used to work at big times and he really is loved and respected by everyone on high street. I hope that this ordinance doesn’t pass he deserves better then to be pushed out!

  6. Please let Hot Dog man stay!!!!

  7. To the city council: Know that if you vote for this, there is a very high probability that an overwhelming amount of the student body will vote you out the next election cycle, so if you care about your cushy little political career, just don’t.

    • Pretty sure most students aren’t permanent residents, and therefore can’t vote.

      • With the underwhelming numbers who do come out to vote, it would not take a large collection of students who have taken up residency in Morgantown to vote these clowns out. It simply comes down to city counsel members being disconnected from what is happening in Morgantown and a direction for the city. It is no secret that many personal agendas have been served from the seats of the city counsel chambers. Its is time that members be held accountable for NOT LISTENING TO THE WANTS AND DESIRES of their constituents!!!

  8. Byrd is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! This doesn’t just effect him but he’s been doing it for years!! I hope this doesn’t get passed so he can continue to do what he loves!

  9. Wow the man is just trying to make a living, leave him alone. This is a sad day for the city of Morgantown if this ordinance passes. Good luck Birdman!

  10. Insane and pathetic, this entire concept

  11. Call Jessie Jackson in, he will sort it out..

  12. Live Tweeting? That sounds retarded

  13. This is not okay to mess with people’s lives just because council feels like it. He was doing no harm what so ever, if anything he was a major aid in so many ways. I am incredibly disappointed in Morgantown tonight. To Bird, I thank you for the many times you helped me out of the kindness of your heart. You deserve nothing but the best and I’m sure this is a blessing in disguise.. Keep your head up!

  14. I don’t know him personally but I do know. He turn a negative situation to a positive. When the last time you went out to see the struggling economy. He sells a product at an affordable rate that even anyone call fill there belly. He speaks to you with respect regardless of your means. What is your purpose in taking these vendors off the street? It’s hard enough out here everyday without someone dictating! Do you rather someone selling something on the same block that have teenagers, college students, or adults more harmful then alcohol. I was at work when someone told me about the vendors may not be allowed on high street this past week. I was surprisingly shocked about this occurrence.I came to realize that obstacles make Americans who we are. Strong individuals that may come together and make change.founded on the belief system that no matter what happened in your past so what background you came from. You could always make a better life for yourself. Those belief systems are being changed everyday. I know I’m one person, but I still believe in that systems that always maked it great for people who love this country. I’m a proud American but a sad citizen!

  15. This man is trying to make an honest living for himself and now Morgantown wants to he rid of him?? He is a great example of making something out of nothing and I feel that this shouldn’t be any issue. All the students know him or know of him and I just want to ask, “Why now?” He isn’t harming anyone. Let him live.

  16. I’m a transplant to Morgantown, I’ve known byrd since before the hotdog stand days and he’s always been a positive straight up and forward person. As long as the man has his food handlers, required city permits, pays his taxes and has his small business license in line. Don’t mess with the mans constitutional right to make a living. This is a despicable display of power abuse and is probably a result in of person/persons involved has ties to one of the building based establishments that offer or are going to offer late night food. Byrd has become a staple to late night.

    This is the same thing as the city/university shutting down the drunk buses and putting a strangle hold on the other night time establishments. By handcuffing these entrepreneurs, your short changing the tax revenue generated by the economic resource we have in our town, the students. Most don’t look at this way, the success of these big or small business translates into expansion/growth and jobs.

    Quit trying to make this a BIG government situation, set back tax the shit out of us and try to make things safer. Lets take on a real problem,maybe do something with this god awful traffic situation.

  17. I am from this town and forever it will be in the stone age. It lacks culture and the ability to move ahead. There are street vendors in every major city.
    vote these terrible people out of office. They have no heart.

  18. A bunch of dumb hicks that can not even spell Monongahela correctly. (No place else in the world says “Monongalia”). Instead of blogging about these insignificant problems, why not run for city council and make an actual change?

    Bird’s hotdogs are inferior to the original hotdog man’s product. Once the Sheetz opens, we will all be able to buy hotdogs much cheaper at any time of the night.

  19. I am a 8 yr resident and student. There is so much misinformation going on. first if your not a legal resident you can’t vote for city council. Students need not apply. Secondly, most of our problematic roads are owned and maintained by county or state. The City of Morgantown has absolutely no lawful ability to change or alter any county road or state highway. If your going to blame someone make sure your pointing at the right person. Now I’ve been following this situation from the beginning and the reason for this is 100% safety. The block between Pita Pit and Dirty Bird is the narrowest sidewalks we have on High St. They blocked off meters as a temporary solution to the congestion. A lot of complaints were made that people were congregating at late hours infront of bars and at the food vendor trucks. This congregation was causing people to walk into the street because they could not pass on the sidewalk. The clubs have people keeping people out of the walking paths to help with their side of this. Byrd is an upstanding citizen and a very compassionate man but he is not being asked to stop his business. They have only asked him to move to a more safe area for his customers and the people passing by. He was asked to do this before they felt the need to pass this ordinance. They are not charging him any taxes to do business in town as brick and mortars in town are charged. they are not limiting free enterprise in any way. Please educate yourself about the problem before you spout misinformation to everyone else.

    Every great communist uses misinformation to elude the public into rallying for their causes.

  20. You made Birdman cry. You should be ashamed of yourself! Why don’t you worry about the roads that have been busting up my car for the past two years, instead of hot dogs for sale on high street sold by a vary nice man. Go home Morgantown City Counsil. Think about if someone was changing the law so the possibility could be that you would earn less money or not be able to have your business, thus threatening your livelihood. Poor Birdman! thoughts and prayers are with you.

  21. All I have to say about this situation, taking everything into consideration that has been previously said, is that if the inner city and at risk youths of america took the story of Birdman, a personal friend of mine, and turned it into theirs, the world would be a better place…the best line in this whole segment is the line about how selling a product from the street corner is the American dream. Byrd grew up in a neighborhood where this is all he saw every single day, except it was not hot dogs being sold… it was crack cocaine. guns, and prostitutes, the city council should use his story as a message that it doesnt matter if you’ve been in prison, if you’re a convicted felon, or if you come from nothing, you can make it, and not only that, you can make it in a economically prosperous city like morgantown…this man has made it, as an entrepreneur, a capitalist, and truly, as a friend, father figure, and kind and caring person to the students of West Virginia University and the townspeople of one of the greatest cities in West Virginia if not the entire United States…Morgantown.

  22. Bryan, this is a great piece and that video was really amazing. I was wondering who shot the video and was pleasantly surprised when it was for this blog. It’s heartbreaking that the ordinance was passed. Maybe a follow up post would do well.

  23. This video is fantastic, Bryan. It is unfortunate that the ordinance passes. Everyone deserves a second chance, especially after hearing his testimonials! You can tell he has truly turned his life around and is passionate about his work.

  24. Pingback: Bryan Bumgardner: A Rebel With a Cause | 0900 Boot Camp

  25. Typical bureaucratic garbage that has plagued this town for decades. No need for it. From the police department to the city council, Morgantown is more corrupt than a Bakara Market arms dealer. Half of the police officers couldn’t differentiate between their elbow and asshole, and the majority of the politicians wouldn’t know integrity if it plopped its fecal laid anus on their faces. Graduated from WVU in the early 2000s and it’s evident that nothing has changed. Typical Appalachian Hooverville…

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