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Sunday, May 12, 2013


A good friend of mine has a very similar business to my PM store.  His is located in Napa.

He, like many other businesses in Napa, employee young, out-of-work people to be sign wavers.  These kids (usually) twirl a sign around to get passing cars to notice the business.  My business employs a kid to do the same thing for our business.  It's very effective advertising.

The kid my buddy employs has some sort of disability.  He's been out of work for over 2 years.  One of the local "lend a hand" organizations in the area - Napa Valley Support Services - brought this kid to the attention of my friend, and he fit like a glove.

My friend's previous experience had been much like mine:  You hire someone for the job, which involves a LOT of physical activity, and although it pays more than 33% over minimum wage, you burn through people.  Quickly.

This kid was different.  He loved the job.  He was reliable, showed up on time, and worked his butt off.

Uhm, did you notice how the tense of that last sentence changed?  Yeah, my buddy had to let the kid go.  Because of a local sign ordinance.
Last February, the City Council announced plans to refocus code enforcement efforts on policing illegal signs, but the ordinance isn’t new, said city Planning Manager Ken MacNab. 
“Portable signs, including signs that are movable or moving, have been prohibited in the city’s ordinance for some time,” he noted. “The council has expressed an interest in bringing these signs into conformance and we are making a concerted effort to do that.”
Why?  What public cause is advanced by banning advertising by businesses that are paying your salary with their tax dollars?
Portable signage can be considered blight, MacNab said. “It’s important that signage not obstruct the views and sightlines of vehicles, and that signs not be placed in our sidewalks and obstruct pedestrians.”
Uh, what?  Blight?  Seriously?  All the signs and the wavers don't even come close to obstructing views and sightlines of cars, since the waivers are on the sidewalk.  And not one, single pedestrian had their path obstructed by the waiver.

So what now, cupcake?
“We understand that signs are a valuable tool for businesses, but we do have regulations,” MacNab said. “We believe that there are other ways for a business to reach its customer base.”
Roll that sour ball around in your mouth for a second.  This SOB who has likely never owned or even worked in private business in his adult life is making suggestions on how they should reach their customers?

In government-speak, he's saying, "We've got rules - they're the only way we can exert power.  We don't give a damned that the signs are a 'valuable tool for business'.  Do as we say, or pay the price, you capitalist piece of crap."

Board of Supervisors Meeting
Like lampreys, many in government - hell, MOST in government - are nothing more than a stomach with sharp teeth that clamp on to a viable food source.  They keep sucking and chewing until the host dies.

Then they go find another host.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out.  A number of the folks in the article, and a few who commented on the article said they're going to bring their complaints to the Supervisors and raise some hell.

It may not matter.  Rules is rules.

These lampreys don't seem to understand that not only is one of their citizens now unemployed as a direct result of their actions - no longer paying his own way and also paying for their salaries -  but that THEY will have to dig into their city coffers to pay for his upkeep.

I'm sure it makes sense in their twisted little sucker-fish brains.  They just don't seem able to grasp the concept that eventually, when all of the host fish are gone, they'll have to fend for themselves.

Now that's a fish fry I want to watch...

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Anonymous said...

Screw dat.

If you are holding or wearing the message (sandwich board) it is your personal speech which is being interfered with, by a committee.

Say, how 'bout this:
"If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same...they shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both..." Title 18, United States Code, Section 241.

"Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom, willfully subjects any inhabitant of any State, territory or district to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution of laws of the United States...shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both..." Title 18, United States Code, Section 242

your friends message on one side, the above on reverse.

What fun!

Chief Instructor said...

That is awesome! I will make sure my buddy sees your comment.

Adam said...

It's all about control. They don't care about business, all they want is to be able to tell us all how to live so they can control every aspect of our lives.

Chief Instructor said...

True dat. If this bureaucrat had two brain cells to rub together, he'd have said to himself, "Let's see - if I hurt business, I hurt my tax source. If that's hurt, I my community. Maybe we should place a moratorium on this regulation, look at its impact, and come up with something that makes sense."

But, as noted, it's not about making sense, it's about exerting and increasing control.

The people of Napa need to remove these folks from office, and replace them with folks that will work in their best interests.

I know, dream on.

suek said...

>“We understand that signs are a valuable tool for businesses, but we do have regulations,” MacNab said.>

And who makes those regulations? Do they grow on trees in their locale???

>>The people of Napa need to remove these folks from office, and replace them with folks that will work in their best interests. >>