Best Political Gaffe Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 1999 - Sunrise Sign Ordinance
Forget about guns, drugs, or teenage pregnancy. The Sunrise City Commission tackles the truly ravenous manifestations of urban blight -- like neon. Exposed neon, to be specific. (Whatever that means.) The insufferably self-righteous sign ordinance that put the knife to neon last year also prohibits lettering larger than four inches high and restricts signs to one-tenth the size of window space. Never mind that just about every business in town is in violation of these rules. City Manager Pat Salerno, sent out to defend the inane law before a rapacious commission-meeting crowd, only made matters worse by castigating business owners. "This is blight, and this is visual blight and it's the type of blight the commission has been working to rectify for ten years," he told the crowd. So, we ask, what's next on Sunrise's agenda -- a ban on Christmas lights?