When is Lacey going to let you promote “your” business?
How do you promote your business?
Do you spend thousands of dollars on advertising in or on our local media? Do you spend countless hours volunteering and becoming involved in the community? If you have a storefront, do you have good signage? Would you like to have better signage?
No – this isn’t an advertisement for my son’s sign shop, this is a statement of values. This is a comment on how government thinks its better than anyone else, and most particularly, better than business.
Lets place this in some context.
The City of Lacey has the most restrictive sign ordinance in Thurston County, if not the whole state. Businesses, which wish to advertise their businesses are severely restricted in the type, location and size of the signs they can have. In particular, they can’t have any signs that move, rotate, oscillate, or has scrolled messages.
That was always the way it was with one exception. Government groups, such as schools and the city, could have those types of signs. The North Thurston Public Schools spent $600,000 to place message boards in front of each of its schools. Lacey officials interpreted that was an exception from the ordinance. Their rationale is that government agencies didn’t have the same outlets that business do to promote their product.
Listen to that again. Government doesn’t have the same outlets to promote its products. In addition, government’s products benefited everyone in the community, while business was just out to make a buck.
But, the city was forced to make another exception when Walgreen’s lawyers found a “loophole”. That forced the city to re-look at its ordinance and they did so. They closed the loophole.
This week, the Lacey City Council voted 5-2 to keep the ban on reader boards in place for business, but to continue to allow them for schools and the city.
Two business members of the council – - Jason Hearn and Lenny Greestein voted to lift the ban. Andy Ryder, a Lacey businessman joined with the remainder of the council to keep the ban in place.
Guess government just doesn’t have any way to promote itself.
Remember that the next time the city or the school district comes, hat in hand, wanting you to sponsor some civic event. Ask them when they’re going to let you promote your business.