Hey, Who Took All The Signs

The Naperville city council may have broken the record for the longest recorded city council meeting in recorded history, not just in Naperville, but in the entire world; 7 hours, 11 minutes, and 44 seconds. It started at 7:00 PM Tuesday August 20 and didn’t finish until the next day Wednesday August 21 at 2:11AM. It’s also possible that nothing worth while happened the last two hours of the meeting because as former Naperville councilman Bob Fieseler has said, “nothing good happens after midnight”, and most police officers would probably agree.

What was so important for such a long meeting? Was it the discussion about whether or not Naperville should approve the sale of recreational marijuana, pot, ganga, weed, cannabis, funny stuff,  etc. Was it the topic of Kratom, trying to figure out how to pronounce it, before considering its approval for selling it in Naperville. Kratom (Kra’-tm), as in Crayola without the ‘ola’. Was it the resident hauled in front of the council to be emotionally ‘pistol whipped’ over a transgression, only to be given mercy by every council member not named Pat Kelly. We found out that councilman Kelly is Naperville’s version of the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man; the character without a heart. Was it the long discussion about whether or not to approve a 7-Eleven type of business on Ogden. The stumbling issue was that it was not a 7 to 11 operation, but rather a 24-hour business. Bingo, not approved, out the door they went.

No, it wasn’t any of those mundane issues, the compelling story of the night was finding out who was the Good Samaritan (or thief, depending upon how you look at it) corralling all the signs on the roadways of Naperville. Watch and listen as Naperville’s version of the Lone Ranger presents his case:

For the most part the city council agreed with the resident, as I did to up a point, and Naperville councilman Paul Hinterlong came to the standard conclusion “Something needs to be done”:

It’s the ‘go to’ solution for every issue and problem. ‘something needs to be done’, but what exactly is that?

And are these signs really a problem? Signs for a sports soccer league, for tutoring, for trimming trees, for mowing. All these signs are for people wanting to do something worthwhile, rather than sitting around doing nothing. All these ‘sign people’ are entrepreneurs. Is the council trying to extinguish the entrepreneurial spirit.

If city officials really want to penalize street-sign-placers, rather than inflicting a financial hit on them, simply require each person to have a one-hour lunch with council member Patty Gustin. That would stop the ‘problem’ real quick.

It’s possible that before Mayor Steve Chirico built his successful flooring business, he bought his first rug, or piece of tile, and used a street sign to see if anyone wanted to buy it. Maybe when councilman Hinterlong started as a plumber, he bought his first plumbing tool, and used a sign to see if anyone had a drip.

What about the sign that shows ‘Call this number for a 6-figure income’. It’s probably true if you include the decimal point.

Naperville’s sign-confiscator scooped-up 43 signs between Washington St. and Wehrli Road on 75th Street. He must have been out again today because I saw only five signs today, and between Washington St and Naperville-Plainfield Road there were three. The most intriguing sign I saw today was a ‘For Sale’ sign with absolutely nothing near it for a half-mile. I can only assume the only thing ‘for sale’ was the sign itself.

If the city wants to make an issue of street signs, they may want to start with election signs where you can find fifty on a street corner.

Show 1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James Haselhorst

    The reality is that the latest court rules states cities can not regulate signs base on content. So if you open the door to businesses and other “worthwhile” enterprises you open the door for everyone. That includes signs of a political nature, known scams that target elderly, signs with messages some find offensive, etc.

    What the city can regulate according to the court is the location and size of these signs. The city prohibition on placing signs in the parkways was in place when I moved here over 25 years ago. And considering how people rarely remove these signs even after the are not longer relevant, I say keeping them out of the city parkways is a good thing.

    Remember the parkways are city property and if we let people put sign on this city property we set a precedent that will allow them to place signs on other city properties. Like the library, the Riverwalk, city hall, fire stations, police station, etc. Banning signage on city property is only a prudent thing to do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *