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EDITORIAL: Town government worked as it should

Mayor Gee Williams’ decision to amend Monday night’s Town Council agenda to include discussion of café tables and sandwich board signs was a smart one. This has been a sensitive issue and it has been brewing for several weeks.

Well-run governmental bodies should provide straightforward guidance for residents and business owners and this is precisely how local government responded.

The town’s recognition that the current method of regulation was flawed, with the decision being based more on individual taste than actual requirements, was a welcome relief for merchants.

Sandwich boards may seem like clutter to some and street art to others, but they have been essential to business success for many town merchants. The only thing that was clear under the current procedures for placing signs, tables and other items in front of their stores was that it allowed a few the ability to affect the livelihood of others based on individual whim.

The council, after some discussion, is looking to formalize by ordinance the way these items can be placed on sidewalks throughout town rather than be subjected to the personal preferences of Historic District Commission members and the town’s department of zoning and planning.
If this measure is approved, merchants should find that it will bring clarity to what was murky.

Please send your letters, thoughts, and opinions to editor@baysidegazette.com by 5 p.m. Monday to be considered for print.