Letter to the Editor

Not pleased with sign ordinance

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To the Editor:

I love me town. I love the closeness of a small town.

The fact that you know just about everyone's name and who their grandparents and cousins are.

I love that our little town has so many unique businesses.

For example, when you go to the Brazil Coffee Company, you may find Pete Wilson playing the ukulele or catch a friendly game of euchre. I think it's cool that when you go visit Bill and Becky McCullough's buildings, you can get your taxes prepared, buy some flowers for your mother, pick up a pair of camouflage pants and have your car detailed all in the same area.

I love our old Walnut Theatre and the fact that my parents and grandparents held hands there and so did my husband and I, and our children too.

I love Eddie's Hamburger Shop and the wall of fame. I love all the little quaint places in my hometown.

I happen to own one of these little places.

I am Sherry Wilkinson and my husband and I bought the Old Fashion Jewelry Shop on Main Street almost two years ago.

A few days ago, I was informed that my hand-painted sign on the sidewalk was against Brazil City ordinance.

My sign and others like it throughout town were to be removed or fines of $500 a day would be issued.

I was told that this ordinance was enacted during the former Mayor's term and it's the same one that the city of Carmel, Ind., uses. We are not Carmel. In fact, we are the polar opposite of Carmel, and I for one am very happy about that. I love the people in this town just the way we are.

I have several issues with this ordinance, that are too numerous to list here but the point of this letter is to try and cause us all to think about our little town of Brazil.

What makes a small town desirable is everything I have mentioned here and so much more. Penalizing and picking on small businesses is death to the very essence of a small town. I was told that the small sign I take in and out of my shop daily is esthetically unappealing (keep in mind that the sign is in good condition and well maintained).

How esthetically unappealing is a town full of empty buildings with no small businesses?

How esthetically unappealing is a town that has only big corporate franchises with enormous signs and flashing lights and banners?

Is this the town our City Council wants?

Is the small town you as a citizen want?

I hope it isn't.

My request is this, if you are a small business owner and/or a concerned citizen, please attend the special meeting to discuss this ordinance on April 17 at the Brazil City Council chambers at 6 p.m. and let our combined voices be heard.

Sherry Wilkinson,