The City of St. Petersburg is using its immense bureaucracy to gang up on a small business man by threatening to fine him for having a digital sign in front of his business that shows pictures of cats and dogs to advertise his animal hospital. The signs do not flash, meet the “taste” standards of 99% of people and are covered by the first amendment. IN fact when the city of Clearwater tried to ban pictures of Fish on the walls of a business, they lost in Federal court and the city had to pay $55,000 in legal fees and court costs and fines – all from the taxpayers. Of course, these are only laws that the great unwashed have to live by, because the city gives itself a free pass by placing a large digital billboard on the interstate with no less than 8 movable and digital images for Tropicana field in 2005 (image below). That includes pictures of cows on the bottom saying “eat more chicken”. Cows but not kittens? C’mon St. Pete!
Come give a piece of your mind to the city council at 3 pm or 6 pm today at 175 5th St. N. (St. Pete City Hall). (Public workshop at 1 pm but comments only allowed at 3 and 6 pm meetings).
The Height of Hypocrisy. This digital sign on I-275 at the Trop was the largest of its kind in the state when installed in 2005. Why does government exempt itself, the rich and well connected from its own laws?
Fuzzy shot, but you get the idea. Bottom panel has cows telling people “eat more chicken”
Oh yeah, the city just voted down an ordinance that would have let anyone else have a digital billboard. They must not like the competition.
The city council will be holding a workshop today to talk signs and to further the agenda of several council members to remove these “eyesores” just because – well “just ‘cause”. They will also talk movable food trucks today – wouldn’t it be nice to have a taco bus drive by your business for lunch once in a while? You can offer any comment on any topic at 3 pm or 6 pm at the city council or see the sausage being made at the 1 pm “workshop”, but you can’t speak there.
So come on out and start making sure that the local government applies the rule of law equally to all and ensure that businesses can do the things that grow the economy and create jobs.