Long time readers (both of them) will remember that eons before I discovered the coal plant or the Freedom of Information Act, I was obsessed with the City Sign Code. (Here and here, for example).

Well, fortunately our friend Firefly has not given up. In two good, recent posts (here and here) she is revisiting this issue. As much as a property issue, or a freedom issue, Firefly demonstrates that the sign code is a competence issue.

Our City Commission had no trouble spending oodles of hours on a sign code, only to pass it and forget about it. Why the fuss? Who on the Commission, who on staff, is responsible to ensure that this grandiose plan actually gets carried into fruition? Or shall our government merely wander from issue to issue like a bored child in his playroom, taking up whatever strikes his fancy for a moment until distracted by the next interest? All the while, of course, imposing his tantrum-like will on the rest of us.

Where is the Tribune? Why is there not an 'investigative report,' something like: "The Sign Code, Two Years Later." Going around, taking pictures of signs bad signs, putting local officials on the hot seat. I thought journalists lived for that kind of sh*t.

Oh well, at least we have Firefly.

And, back to the liberty issue, the sign code also makes one think like our friend at the Montana Liberty Project. He has a great post up about liberty, and a quoted passage sounds an awful lot like the 'impetus' for our sign code:

In the grand scheme of things, it might seem like a minor inconvenience to buy a different kind of light bulb (and to have to start recycling instead of throwing them away) or to stop smoking in your own car if kids are present or include certain nutritional information on restaurant menus, but such minor violations of liberty add up over time. Before long, you look back and realize that you have given up a lot of your freedoms merely by acquiescing to others’ beliefs on how you should live your life.

Or how you should advertise your business.

UPDATE: Firefly's got pictures. After all the hullaballoo about the sign code, why does the City get a pass on enforcing it?


Anonymous said...

"Grandiose plans..."

As in upkeep for the pools, the golf courses, the soccer fields, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, and now the coal plant?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know more about Res. 9056, Great Falls City/County Comprehensive Plan. Adopted. (bold emphasis added) because "Mayor Bennett declared the public hearing open. No one spoke in support of the Plan. And quote:

For the past two years, the City/County Planning Department, in conjunction with a community steering committee, researched and wrote seven elements to a Great Falls City/County Comprehensive Plan. During the course of the two years, either the City/County Planning Staff or members of the steering committee, participated in approximately 125 meetings with various community and civic groups in order to gather information or to educate the community on the Plan.

On November 17, 1999, the City/County Planning Board held a public hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan, and recommended both governing bodies, the City Commission and the Cascade County Commission, adopt the Plan. ~ CLOSE QUOTE...

Raises hairs on my back when I hear bureaucrats claim "to gather information or to educate the community on (fill in the blank)." It usually means some unaccountable person is pushing an agenda to control your life.