Saturday, January 17, 2004

Hamilton County Sign Issues II

Ham Co is said to be the most Republican county in Indiana. If you were to assume that would mean "business friendly" or "pro-property rights" you would have assumed incorrectly. The Hamilton COunty Sign Police are making their presense felt with local small business owners with resulting bewilderment and anger, mainly because these good people had made the same assumptions.

Alas. Read a few lines of reporter Michelle Evans' account of the People v. the Cicero Sign Police. (I'd give you a link, but the Noblesville Daily Times makes you subscribe even to view their stories online.)

When Cicero resident Michelle Wiatt made the plunge to start her own travel agency this past November, she didn't know she would need a lawyer to decipher the community's 30-page sign ordinance.

"I just think that the rules are too strict and too hard to understand; I think they need to be updated," she said. "We're just trying to stay in business and support the community and we have to worry about whether our sign is two inches too big."

She's not alone. More than 50 business owners and a hanful of residents attended a Cicero Town Council special meeting Tuesday night to voice concerns about the ordinance.

In sleepy Cicero, that's almost like a Boston Tea Party. The important things to remember are:

1. The ordinance was drafted by Republicans.
2. The ordinance is enforced by Republicans.
3. The Libertarian Party is defending property rights and is the advocate for small business owners.
4. Democrats would make it worse.

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