Tuesday, October 10, 2017
When Sign Code Enforcement Goes Too Far
I just returned from a trip to Florida this past weekend. When watching the news one night, one of the nightly stories caught my attention. The story was about the local municipality's code enforcement officer not allowing a resident to place a sign outside. The sign was a simple "Thank You" to the local power company for their hardworking efforts at restoring power after Hurricane Irma.
Now I don't know about you, but I think a public thank you sign placed outside for a few days should not be a problem. I mean afterall, most public utilities don't receive a lot of thanks, particularly in the aftermath of such catastrophic power outages as Irma produced. The power company staff was forced to put in many overtime hours to restore power to many communities.
The sign thank you to the power company was a nice gesture on the resident's part. But the bigger message, in my opinion, was modeling a kind gesture to those residents around the community. Our society is constantly plagued with horrible news stories, terrorist attacks, oppression and more. Yet, one man's thank you had to be removed because rules are rules. So instead of sharing the message of kindness and good will, the resident was forced to remove the sign.
How nice it would have been to see the township embrace the sign and it's sentiment and capitalize on the PR it could have brought in a positive way, instead of turning the whole event into a negative. Sometimes the message is bigger than what is written on the sign.