Wednesday, 16 May 2012 01:44

Jackson ponders political sign issue, excemptions

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Amador County – Jackson City Council discussed revisiting city sign code in regard to Merzlak Signs on Monday, with council members apologizing for not addressing the issue earlier.

Councilman Wayne Garibaldi said he counts Kam Merzlak as a friend, but he did not think they could carve something out of the ordinance for sign shops. He said Merzlak has been a tremendous contributor to the community. He said when signs are dry they can be picked up, and if they sit out long, they can turned over.

Councilwoman Marilyn Lewis wondered if the health department could take issue with fumes if the signs were kept inside.

Vice Mayor Connie Gonsalves said she was sorry it was not handled and also sorry the complaint maker was not present. Councilman Keith Sweet said three public meetings were held since the new draft ordinance came out and “all that time this particular issue was never discussed.”

Mayor Pat Crew said: “I’ve never had a sign done anywhere else but Merzlak Signs, starting with Ralph and Sharon.” He apologized for not handling the issue, saying “we got so hung up on the pole signs that we did not get to the bottom of the page.” He said the council returned to the sign issue and the city attorney gave two solutions. One was to allow a larger, 32 square foot sign, and another would be to enforce the city code. City Attorney Andy Morris said the council should give direction on a draft ordinance change.

Garibaldi said “I do not support larger political signs. I am more in favor of having an exemption for commercial sign shops, so they will not have to worry about which sign they can put out.”

Crew said: “I could support that” and “kicking it around for two-and-a-half years is long enough.” The Council set a special meeting for May 22 to consider the draft ordinance. Garibaldi said it would be nice if we were all here. He said they also only heard one side of this and he did not want it to be seen as steamrolling it through.

Sweet said the Planning Commission had a consensus that no one wanted 32 square foot political signs.

City Manager Mike Daly said direction for the code was to exempt professional sign shops from this section of the sign code. Garibaldi said Daly and Morris should consult with Merzlak.

Garibaldi also suggested a code time limit for signs, possibly 30 days, so it would not create another problem, and to be fair to both sides. Daly asked about determining the length of time a sign is allowed to dry. Morris said they could say when the sign was finished.

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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