Monday, March 29, 2010
Signs, Signs, Everywhere the Signs
Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman
About a week and a half ago, I was driving through the southern part of Hawthorne when I saw a red-and-white sign from Hennepin County on a vacant lot. The sign was announcing an auction for tax-forfeited properties, in honor of Bashir Moghul. Next to the official Hennepin County sign, though, was a sign advertising architectural services.
I've taken down unpermitted signs before, and have found ways to make the activity fun for the whole family.
"Hmmm," I thought, "I'm not aware of the county allowing such signs on their property."
So I called the number listed on the sign, and when someone answered...
...I identified myself as the housing director of the Hawthorne neighborhood and informed them that I saw a sign of theirs posted on county land.
"Do you have permission or any kind of arrangement with Hennepin County to post the sign here?"
"Yes, we do."
"Great. Can you tell me the name of your contact person so I can confirm this?"
"I don't remember the last name."
"Okay, do you have an email address or phone number?"
"Well, sir, let me tell you something. I'm not convinced that you do have permission to place your sign here. So I'm going to take it with me. If I'm wrong and you do indeed have authorization, here's how you contact me...Send me that proof and within five minutes I'll have your sign put back where it belongs and you'll have my profound apologies."
"Are you saying you're against development in your neighborhood?"
"No sir. In fact development is one of my top priorities. But you claim to have permission to put this sign here and you haven't convinced me. Placing this on land next to a government sign lends you an air of credibility that you do not have. All I want is for you and other people to follow the rules about how such things are posted in my community." (Click here for an example of what can happen when such basic rules aren't enforced.)
(in a sarcastic voice) "Well, I'm SURE glad that YOU'RE looking out for your neighborhood!"
"I detect an air of sarcasm there, but I'll take the compliment. Thank you, and if you send me proof that I'm wrong, I'll replace your sign immediately."
The auction for the tax-forfeited land occurred on Friday of last week. No contact was made by this person or anyone else to refute my assertion that this sign was not permitted on county land.