Trouble in the Garden State
ISA's "rapid response" team went to West New York, New Jersey, and found itself in the middle of a high-profile and contentious sign code hearing.
West New York officials were proposing to make an already restrictive sign code even worse, and it became a controversial issue that has many local small businesses—including sign companies—up in arms.
ISA's David Hickey spoke in front of the Commission, pointing out their code's many flaws and offering the sign industry's expertise in helping the Town come up with language that is practical, that is reasonable, and that can help businesses. Hickey also told the Commission that research proves that signs help promote economic activity and traffic safety, and submitted studies from the University of Cincinnati and Texas A&M University for the record. Hickey urged the Town to consider the facts and delay action until their flawed proposal was remedied.
Here's an interview with David Hickey before the meeting.
New Jersey sign company owner John Janis also testified before the town commission against the proposed language, as did many area small business owners. Although dozens of citizens spoke out against the new sign code and not one person rose in support of it, and although the town attorney admitted publicly that the Town drafted the new language without input from the sign industry and small businesses, the amendment passed by a 3-1 vote (with one abstention). ISA is working with opponents of the sign code and Town officials to determine next steps.
If your community is working on a sign code and local officials could use some "educating," please let ISA know and we'll help however we can. For more information, please contact David Hickey.