Grayson Business Owner Fights City Sign Ordinance
Preface By: Team Bold Spicy
Pondering the interpretations of city ordinances can be mind-boggling. The sign ordinances in one little Georgia City are certainly not pro-business. Fighting for the freedom for businesses and their owners to prosper is not unique anywhere in America. Neighboring towns have a deafening outcry about the freedom to have a drink on Sunday or possibly buy a six-pack from the local grocery store all 7 days of the week. How can a city ordinance hand-cuff a business owner’s prosperity on Sunday?….or broadly limit the dress and costume of employed workers in the city limits all 7 days a week?
Many Small Southern Cities are managed like Mafia Homeowners Associations. Cliquey little clubs that bully businesses and homeowners with fear and promises of retribution. Close-knit families that use old fashion ‘Cosa-Nostra-Style’ shake-down techniques for their C.I.D. and like projects. Most business owners barely have time to eek out a decent living these days. Municipal battles against small code infringements can exhaust and overwhelm businesses beyond the point of futility. Unless you are Wal-Mart, Kroger, the Waffle-House, or the US Post Office you have no chance fighting with the ‘Do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do” local politicians and City Administrators. Even these big corporations can be no match for the “Good-Ole-Boy (and Girl)”, ‘I have been here longer’, ‘I own more property’, ‘this city is Mine’, and ‘I know better’ Club. Good luck trying to find a local business association or chamber that would support you. They are just as afraid of these bullies as you are. Quite possibly they are not also funded, controlled, and manipulated by these municipalities (and counties) as well. Even the local papers and reporters run scared when businesses need an advocate…
but not Bold Spicy News!
In Grayson, Georgia there is a new interpretation of their infamous ‘Sign Ordinance’. Costumes that represent a brand are not allowed within the city limits.
Warning: If you live in Grayson and your children wish to dress up on Halloween as a brand, such as Spiderman, Superman, Pokeman, Miley Cyrus, or Barbie make sure you go to Grayson City Hall and ask for a special permit. Otherwise city council and code enforcement might fine you.
I dare one resident to ask Mayor Jim Hinkle for his special permit this Holiday Season when he dresses up like Santa as in years past. Admittedly “Santa” is a brand.
From Fox 5
Updated: Tuesday, 08 Feb 2011, 11:55 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 08 Feb 2011, 11:47 PM EST
GRAYSON, Ga. – People holding signs to advertise everything from pizzas to tax services are a common sight along many Metro Atlanta roads, but in one town it’s illegal and a local business owner says that’s unfair.
The Lady Liberty costume can be found on street corners all over Metro Atlanta, signaling the start of tax season. In the town of Grayson, the Lady Liberty isn’t allowed outside in her outfit.
“I don’t want any trouble, I don’t want to have issues this is not a fight with the city. I just want to employ people, I just want to make money,” said Doris Jones of Liberty Tax Service.
The mayor of Grayson says people holding signs on street corners violates city zoning laws.
“Grayson is a little unique, admittedly, so we try to control things a little closer,” said Mayor Jim Hinkle.
“It’s just the uniform, it does not have a sign,” said Jones.
Jones says she tried to follow the letter of the law by taking away the sash and the sign the person in the Lady Liberty costume typically carries.
“It is a sign ordinance. A sign ordinance means holding a sign or a temporary sign and my [employee] did not have a sign she was just walking in her uniform,” said Jones.
The city code enforcement department disagreed, saying that in Grayson, just the costume qualified as a sign.
“If you’ll look at Grayson, you’ll see signs all in proportion. There’s nothing garish about them and everybody conforms normally,” said Mayor Hinkle.
Jones said the Lady Liberty costume is a big way that the Liberty Tax franchises bring in business and without one her office has been empty.
“I put it on hold. I don’t want to disrespect anyone, I just want somebody to understand,” said Jones.