There is always somebody or some group trying to regulate somebody, or some other group. Isn’t that partially why government exists; the perk of regulating. For most of us the only time we get to regulate is when we are dealing with our kids, which seems to work pretty good until our kids learn the power of the word ‘no’.
The Naperville city council’s most recent effort to regulate, came as a result of the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding temporary signs. After considerable discussion by city council members, during the last council meeting, and some very limited input by residents, the council has all but decided that the maximum size for temporary residential signs will be 4 square feet, and temporary commercial signs will be 12 square feet, typically 3 X 4 or if you want an almost perfect square sign, it would need to be 3.464 feet by 3.464 feet. We can only hope that Naperville code officers have a very accurate measuring device along with a top-of-the line light meter for measuring lumens for electronic signs.
Just when it looked like the issue was ready for staff to create the ordinance, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico slipped in the following tidbit:
So the mayor wants to give council members a ‘pass’ or exemption for the size of campaign signs until the April 4 municipal election is history. Does anybody see anything glaringly wrong about that? Frankly, I don’t. Why shouldn’t common sense enter into the equation? The mayor doesn’t have any skin in the game by extending the effective ordinance date; he’s not running for re-election until 2019. Unless he can find someone in the U.S. with the last name of ‘Chirico’ running for mayor, willing to buy his signs, he will take a loss on replacing somewhere less than a million campaign signs he has in storage.
However, what is wrong, is that other individuals and groups don’t get the same courtesy of time allowed before an ordinance is enacted.
Most recently, the Naperville city council approved an ordinance December 5 increasing the age from 18 to 21 for selling and purchasing cigarettes, and the ordinance is set to begin January 1. That’s a paltry 26 day window to get the word out for all to know, and for businesses to post the age change, train employees, and do what’s necessary to comply. Where is common sense added to that equation?
When it came time for the City to forcefully slap smart meters on the homes of residents, it had to happen immediately or be arrested. Yet when it came time to honor council member term limits which was approved by a landslide binding referendum by residents, the Naperville city council said it didn’t have sufficient time to make it happen, so it was delayed for a few years. Not days, or weeks, or months, but years.
Again, I applaud what the mayor did by allowing council members running for re-election the opportunity to use their existing campaign signs; it’s the right thing to do. Why have anybody scrambling for time or unnecessarily spending money, when a little common sense can be extended. Residents and groups should be allowed the same courtesy.