On My Soapbox

Here is a close up of the Welcome to Taylor sign prior to being installed. Photo by Jason Hennington

This week our social media question returned on the Taylor Press Facebook page after a holiday hiatus. The question is about the new gateway sign. We expected some “strong” responses to the question, but the answers kind of went down a rabbit hole – better yet an excavator hole.

The fact that people are engaged and offer their opinions is great, but I think some people still forget how government works.

This is why you should read the paper. I personally have followed this story about the sign since 2015. In fact, the first designs did not even include the sign that was chosen.

I knew the first thing people would say is that the cost of the sign, $218,996.91, could go towards fixing streets. That’s always the first thing people say. I understand because streets are important, but I also know that the funds for the sign, Heritage Square, the skate park, etc. could not be used for streets.

I also know that the cost of the sign would have been like spitting into the Grand Canyon when it comes to the cost of streets.

Part of the money for the sign came from TIF funds, which is to be used for downtown and/or promotional items. All of that was discussed during meetings when designs were presented and during budget meetings.

Speaking of the design, the new sign looks similar to the old Carlow Motel sign. That was done purposely to pay homage to the history of Taylor. The Carlow sign was iconic and very memorable, so that’s part of why that style was chosen.

Contrary to many people’s belief, the hole is not there to represent a pothole. I wonder if the people who continue to say that were at the planning meetings. We publicized those meetings and covered them.

Some of the comments about the sign did actually pertain to the sign and were honest opinions. Several people do not like the color scheme or think the text is unreadable. Other people like it but want to see it lighted at night or more visible somehow. A few people don’t like the location of the sign.

That was the reason for the question. Again, I understand that open-ended questions in a public forum leaves an opportunity to keyboard warriors to strike, and I expect it.

It’s also an opportunity to gage the thoughts of our social media followers.

Comments are always welcome, even if they are not always welcoming.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go watch the NFL playoffs. I know the Washington Redskins are not playing, but I’m still going to watch some football until I fall asleep.

“Logos and branding are so important. In a big part of the world, people cannot read French or English--but are great in remembering signs”

― Karl Lagerfeld

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