The budget wasn't the only thing that the council members of Madison, Wisconsin, had to consider during its meeting: they also decided to make the plastic lawn flamingo its official bird!
The new mascot was debated for five minutes, and then the Common Council voted 15-4 to make the plastic pink flamingo the official city bird.
The idea was by a 1979 prank on Bascom Hill when the Pail and Shovel Party on campus put out 1,008 of the birds. "It sure lives in Madison lore as a really fun thing," said Wisconsin State Journal writer Doug Moe. Moe proposed the idea in a column, and Alder Marsha Rummel brought it to the council. "Let Madison have a little fun and laugh at itself. We've always been pretty good at that. I might suggest in these so-called tough times, a little laughter is not a bad thing," Moe said.
Not everyone embraced the idea of voting on the plastic flamingo. "I respectfully ask for this City Council to devote more time to more serious business at hand," said Alder Thuy Pham-Remmele, of District 20. But Rummel defended bringing the proposal to the council. "We are capable of multitasking in life, and if you don't have a little fun, it's not worth living, and I spent like 20 minutes on this since April," Rummel said.