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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Warning sign

Kevin Leininger has a fascinating column in tonight's paper about one small-business owner's struggle to comply with a 20-year-old sign ordinance "that can seem goofy even to the people who must enforce it." The sign for his business would extend a few inches above the top of the wall, and that can't be permitted, which even City Planner Bryan McMillan can't explain:

Don't ask me why (signs can't extend above the roof line). I never understood that,” said McMillan, who had reviewed 10 requests for sign-ordinance variances through September after receiving nine all of last year. The ordinance governs signs' size, location and other factors.

It would be unfair to blame McMillan and others like him for the bureaucratic hurdles Woodruff and other business owners must face. But it is even more unfair and unwise to subject the people who fuel our economy and create jobs to regulations that are arbitrary at best and economically counterproductive at worst.

As she has seemed to in so many stories lately, Liz Brown provides the voice of reason:

It's almost comical in its absurdity,” said Woodruff, who could seek the Board of Zoning Appeals' blessing to install a sign that extends above the roof line


tim zank
Thu, 10/28/2010 - 1:12pm

This is what one could commonly refer to as "government waste". Think of all the money spent by the struggling business owner, then consider the amount of money NOT spent by customers, then multiply it by a gazillion other cities, towns and municipalities across the nation whose sole purpose is to regulate the bejesus out of anything and everything and you've got hundreds of millions of dollars going to waste. Plus your tax dollars pay these morons salaries and benefits.

Just like the little girls lemonade stand shut down in Illinois, or the kids pumpkin sale in Idaho, or that poor guy whose rib stand on Hobson went afoul of Ft Wayne Health Dept a while back, these are your civil servants at work.

This is your government at work, and it only gets more convoluted the higher up the ladder you go. It's emdemic to government, look at your city and county councils, your commissioners, your various boards, your state agencies, all the way up it gets worse and worse.

It's comical and we just let it continue.

William Larsen
Thu, 10/28/2010 - 7:54pm

Economic Development Government Style. Creative, imaginative and resourceful at putting anchors around the necks of companies with the intent to raise taxes from as many sources as possible to keep taxes as low as possible for others. Economic Development an alternative to actually making things work.

Phil Marx
Fri, 10/29/2010 - 8:21am

I wonder if this City ordinance applies for three miles outside of the city limits. Maybe Councilwoman Brown can look into that for us.

Bob G.
Fri, 10/29/2010 - 8:22am

What amazes me is that the city WOULD pursue something that makes no sense while ignoring such things as the noise ordinance in our area...helluva double-standard.
Yeah, Bill..."economic development" is about as lame a term as "neighborhood revitalization"...another alternative to making things work.
And yes, Tim...BS ALWAYS flows UP, but WE'VE all known that for decades, right?
Our(civil) servants should NEVER "run (or own) the manor".