The great sign outrage — unapproved by Council

By David F. Rooney

In a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing someone somewhere in the bowels of the municipal government managed to outrage much of the population by directing Engineering and Public Works employees to make those stencils and spray paint them on corners throughout the downtown core without Council approval.

And for that someone could well have their hand slapped.

“We’re trying to find out who authorized this,” Mayor David Raven said Wednesday. “This broadsided Council.”

Councillors were not happy campers as residents began complaining to them about the signs.

Councillor Gary Starling had just returned to town from vacation so he wasn’t up to speed on the stencilled sign debacle but it didn’t take people long to button-hole him when he went downtown on a couple of errands Wednesday morning.

Councillor Linda Nixon was also miffed.

“These have to come down,” she said.

Starling, though, wasn’t keen on spending more money to paint over the signs that one retiree said make the community look like “Nazi-town” or maybe “Stupid-town.”

“That paint won’t survive the winter,” Starling said.

That may well be but the signs are — in most people’s eyes — offensive eyesores that need to go. They’re also idiotic. While young children under 13 are permitted to ride on sidewalks adults and older teens know they’re not supposed to do that.

The problem is not one of public ignorance of the rules. The problem is a nearly complete lack of enforcement.

The City’s Enhancement Committee was also mystified by the stencilled signs.

“Just to make it clear, only the 4th Street dedicated bike lanes were approved by the Enhancement Committee,” Committee Chairwoman Toni Johnston told The Current.  “We had nothing to do with any of the rest of the signs either on the streets (the so-called sharrows were from Planning) and I am guessing since Enhancement did not see the others, that they came from Planning as well.  I would encourage you to find out who and why… Thanks for your enquiring mind!”

On another bicycle-related note, you may like to click here to read about past reactions to people’s misuse of bicycles.