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Follow-through could fix sign mess

Brookhaven Alderwoman Shelley Harrigill likely got some hate mail (or at least hate Facebook comments) this week after she spoke so strongly against the religious billboards on Hwy. 51.

She wants owner Wayne Wallace to take the signs down. The billboards do not comply with the city’s sign ordinance, and Wallace did not get a permit to put them up.

“I think he needs to take his signs down. The plastics are starting to get loose and are flapping in the wind. He just needs to take his signs down,” Harrigill told the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night.

The billboard has been an issue for the city for a few months now, with Wallace and Mayor Joe Cox coming to a gentleman’s agreement that called for the signs to be moved back from the road and beefed up to meet code back in April.

But nothing has been done since then.

Harrigill pointed that out in Tuesday’s meeting.

“This will be the fifth month that we’ve had him not do whatever it was he agreed to do,” Harrigill said. “After he heard I was complaining about it (in April) he called me to say that he’d already spoken to everybody he needed to and he’d been given permission to do what he needed to do and I told him, ‘Well, you didn’t get permission from me and I’m not in agreement.’”

There are some who see Harrigill’s comments as an attack against the board’s religious message — one sign has the Ten Commandments and the other says “Wake up America.” But that’s not the case. The alderwoman appears to only want Wallace to follow the city’s sign ordinance.  She might also be miffed that she wasn’t invited to the meeting that produced the gentlemen’s agreement.

Other city officials are obviously hesitant to push too hard on the matter, lest they be accused of kicking God out of Brookhaven.

But surely Wallace and the city can find a way to resolve this matter quickly. The quick fix would be for Wallace to move his signs back from the road and make the other changes he said he would make.