Save Yourself - They Won't

   Its your property but can they regulate what you say?


Lafayette is an odd little town. No matter how many times other cities go through the learning bumps, Lafayette always wants to do things the hard way.

We have a ridiculous sign code currently...Full of things like regulations of holiday decorations and flags.

Recently, they tried to make it even worse...regulating things like election signs and protest signs. Even adding a requirement that you have to get a permit to put up a sign.

Eugene tried that. They even fined a few people who had signs up that disagreed with a city project. Lo and behold, the city got a neat little letter from the ACLU advising the city was stomping on the residents 1st Amendment Rights. Government can't tell you what you can say, how you say it or make you pay for it.

McMinnville has a pretty decent sign code. Basically, it says - don't hurt anybody, but feel free to dress it up.

I've heard conversations about how Lafayette is a dump. You might have some residents here who aren't of means; that can't afford to dress it all up pretty. Given how much they pay for utilities, its a wonder their taxes get paid. But, paid they are. So, if you are one of those people complaining about the looks of someone else's property, you better make sure that you are all that. I've never heard of a single bitch and moan person here, and there are only a handful who's voices haven't died out, make a complaint. The code enforcement done in our town is complaint driven - 90% of the complaints come from a single person. Not once has this person ever offered someone the funds to help make their home nicer. No one likes to live in a run down home. But, after a while, poverty has a way of breaking a person.

There have been people who have come here with ideas and effort. Willing to invest in their community. But, the leadership has driven them away because the city refused to let them be successful.

We are facing that with a number of businesses now. Preston Polasek, the city administrator has made it clear that he is revamping our town next year and we have way too many car lots. What's next? Who knows.

In the meantime, in order for us to stop from being steamrolled, having a sign code that is representative of the freedom this country was founded on will be a big step.

Be involved in the process. The Planning Commission will begin reworking the sign code in October, 2013.

Let's hope the ACLU doesn't have to remind our city what the constitution says because, apparently, they can't read it for themselves.