I am not an advocate for billboards. I am an advocate for sound policy decisions reached with the input of the public, affected businesses, and the community, and who will respect the decisions made by the citizen commissions that have been entrusted with this responsibility. Billboard companies, just as all companies that do business with the city, will find in me a mayor with an open door and a willingness to listen.
We have a process in place with our Planning and Zoning commission and city and state laws that govern billboards--these things are in place to strike a careful balance between the requests from businesses and the needs and input of the communities they affect.
We must be careful in our conversations about electronic billboards to be mindful that these billboards can serve a purpose such as providing lower cost advertising opportunities for small businesses and emergency response notifications such as Amber Alerts. We must ensure, however, that all steps are taken to mitigate the light pollution and minimize the impact on surrounding communities.
I am also mindful of the state legislature's ability to override municipal ordinances. The current administration’s mandated position on outdoor advertising has put the city at odds with the state. Recent legislative sessions have seen bills threatening to take away the ability of a municipality to make its own rules. I will work to ensure that the city’s position on billboards does not negatively impact our ability for local control.