Kitten and Puppy Pictures Banned by City of St. Petersburg

The City of St. Petersburg has decided it is going to get tough on some of the most heinous violaters of the laws.  No more will we have to worry about car jackings or convenience story stickups.  No more prostitutes walking the street and drug houses in our neighborhoods.  No more murders of innocent little girls by drive by shootings. Oh, wait, that must be ANOTHER town. Because in St. Pete the Police are cracking down on the presence of cute puppies and kitties used to promote an Animal Hospital.

COME TO CITY COUNCIL MEETING Workshop at 1 pm or City Council Meeting at 3 pm on Thursday 10/20/11 and let them know to change the ridiculous ordinance that bans digital signs for businesses in St. Petersburg.  St. Pete City Hall 175 5th St. N.
Stop those Cute Kittens before they offend my eyes!

That’s right, the city is enforcing an obscure ordinance that prevents images to be used on electronic signs to promote small businesses in our town.  The Owners of the Northeast Animal Hospital installed a beautiful and expensive electronic sign to draw attention to their business.  The sign has displayed colorful images of dogs and cats to attract Business. Business owner Dr. Mark Scribano has said that the city just can’t tolerate his criminal behavior and has now limited him to text only.  Like a good law abiding citizen, he is complying.  But many of his customers and people he has never met before are not happy. He reports receiving a significant amount of support who feel the city ordinance is ridiculous.

To add insult to injury, the Tropicana field has a beautiful digital billboard on the highway with changing graphic image. Apparently the law only applies to the little guy and not the well connected (the Rays) or to the government that writes the law.

The ban on digital signs is consistent with the ban on digital billboards that the City Council supported in a vote in August. The St. Petersburg Times recognized that was an unwise vote that would hurt businesses and was not based on any rational reason. The people that seem to support such bans are mainly environmental activists who have coopted the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) towards its extreme agenda.  Rather than worrying about skyrocketing property taxes, crime, street repairs and the like, they are going to stamp out the “blight” of electronic signs. Some of their leaders just “don’t like” the way they look.  They also have stated publicly that they don’t like how businesses can – gasp – make a profit by using this crass new fangled approach called “advertising”.

It is time for the city to retire this ordinance. You can make a difference. Show up at the City Sign workshop on Thursday at 1 pm and let the elected officials that you need jobs, not ridiculous anti-sign crusades. Tell them to remove this ban. Afterall, it is only a few words in couple sentences that need to be changed. Surely even our cities massive bureaucracy can handle that.

“A message shall not change more frequently than once per six (6) seconds. The display of text only is permitted. The display of non-text graphics are prohibited. Flashing, chasing and scintillating lighting or operations are prohibited.

It should be changed to read this (just delete the middle two sentences):

“A message shall not change more frequently than once per six (6) seconds. Flashing, chasing and scintillating lighting or operations are prohibited. “

There must be too many jobs in St. Pete, since this is a good way to get rid of them. Or perhaps there are just too many people in power positions who don’t like the way the “signs look”.


3 Replies:

  1. Pamela Evans

    This is another example of government flexing their
    muscle to control every aspect of business. These tunnel vision bureaucrats would love to regulate what animals are worth saving at the animal hospital if they could. They are copying the Federal Gov by picking the companies they will let have the waiver of sign pictures.
    Get off our backs and do constructive problem solving on the real issues that are affecting our lives!!!! Let business owners do what it takes to keep going alive unfriendly climate!!

  2. Linda Skempris

    Code enforcement harassed this man and he had to hire an attorney. He fought and won. What about someone who is just starting a new business. When a town or city enforces their tyranny on a small business, they have the best lawyers and can wear that small business owner down to the point of making him give up.It is not about us taxpayers paying if the town loses, it is about the soul crushing fear that business owner has to go through until the issue is resolved one way or the other. People have always been told that you can’t fight city hall. Just the threat of a law suit by the government tyrants can wear one down until they can’t cope anymore.

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