The Town Meeting last week illuminated several issues important to every citizen, local and otherwise. Discussion of the sign ordinance revealed a serious but correctable lack of understanding of modern marketing techniques, where sign restrictions were blamed for poor business performance. While it is true that our sign ordinance needs serious attention and updating, that alone will not revive ailing business. Taking advantage of new methods and technologies may very well do it.
I am a partner in a local business relying heavily on both Maine and distant visitors. We find that very few people rely on signage to find us. Rather, we're found in magazine articles, rack cards, on our web site and Chamber (etc.) web sites, and by GPS devices. Word of mouth takes it from there.
It is instructive to see that the Small Business Admiistration blames undercapitalization, failure to understand your market, and poor customer service as the prime causes for small business failure. In fact, nowhere in the top 20 list of Business Tips on the SBA website does it mention signage. The old adage holds: Adapt Or Perish.
The Resolution to reverse the destructive Citizens United decision was passed, thankfully, despite uninformed opposition. Contrary to assertions, it is vitally important that the issue be well understood and debated so that every citizen is aware of that real and present danger to our American democracy ―and democracies all over the world.
The money and power of unscrupulous corporations must not be allowed to overwhelm the voices of We The People in a sunami of money dumped on our electoral and legislative processes. As Bethel did, hundreds of American towns and cities are acting against it. Failure to recognize and remove that threat is not an option.