A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – The little sign that could (well actually it’s a big sign, but it still might)

Whenever signage comes up on the agenda at a council meeting you just as well get comfortable - because you may be there a while.

A dedication ceremony for a new marker for the grave of John Jarrett is scheduled for late August. Jarrett rode with the James/Younger gang in his early years, died at Sisters Hospital in Greenwood in 1906 and is buried in the city graveyard.

Greenwood council needed a special meeting last week because they were facing the Jarrett marker dedication date as a deadline for replacing the cemetery fence that was destroyed by a windstorm last August. They needed to approve a quote to get the work started.

Whenever signs come up at a council meeting, you might just as well get comfortable because you are going to be listening for a while. Signs have so many variables. How big is the sign? What gets written on it? What kind of font? What colour is the lettering? What colour is the background? Is there to be lettering on the back too?

If the answer to that is yes, then the workload just doubled because you have to go through the whole list of variables again for the backside. Technically the size of the sign won’t need to be discussed again, but chances are it will be.

Discussion on any of these questions can be long and fruitless. Made fruitless most often because no decision is made—everybody has a nice discussion about everything and staff is directed to bring something back to a later meeting. But when it gets to the next meeting—since no decision was reached at the previous meeting—literally everything is on the table again and the whole conversation starts all over again.

Thankfully this time most of those questions had already been answered. The signs had been developed under the auspices of the Greenwood Economic Development Committee. All council needed to do was vote yes or no to the quote and—well, wait a minute: “I don’t like the wording on the back of the sign,” pipes up one of the councillors.

I tried to suggest they just approve the quote and leave the wording on the back to me—after all, I am the professional writer. No one would support my idea though.

In the end they agreed to accept the quote and that the wording on the back would be determined at the July 14 Greenwood council meeting. In other words, they made a decision to not make a decision—sigh.

Midway has its own sign issues. The dilemma they have been stumbling over since 2011 is one of those basic sign questions again: Where is the sign going to go and when will it go there?

They thought they had it all figured out. The sign was to go at a highway rest stop that had been part of the economic development plan of the day.

When the cost of the project proved too high, the idea was abandoned. But the sign had already been made. It’s a big sign—it measures 1.82 metres by 3 metres (six feet high by 10 feet long.) You can see a video of the sign being created online at http://vimeo.com/81910439.

Meanwhile, this poor sign has spent the last few years sitting in a hanger at the airport waiting for the glorious day when it will finally be unveiled.

I think there is a good plot line for a children’s book in this story. It could have a happy ending too. Most recently village council has been talking about placing the sign on the mountain trail network overlooking the village. It would probably look awesome up there too.


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