EDITORIAL: Sign saga serves a lesson

When it comes to public art, everyone’s a critic. Apparently the same goes for Welcome to Vernon signs...

When it comes to public art, everyone’s a critic.

Apparently the same goes for Welcome to Vernon signs.

The beleaguered welcoming signs already have a long and checkered history as they started out as ‘Greater Vernon’ signs, with at least one of them being many kilometres from the city, likely prompting some visitors to wonder which community they were actually being alerted to.

And then ‘Welcome to” was added upon the politicians’ request, which seemed reasonable enough but proved to be too much to take for the signs as they promptly fell apart a few seasons later.

So, here we go again.

This time it’s just Vernon involved but apparently the complexity of the endeavour is just as difficult as Monday’s debut of the options to replace the signs, well, wasn’t exactly ‘welcomed’ by council members.

“I find the front very bland,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

“Sometimes things resonate and sometimes they don’t,” agreed Coun. Juliette Cunningham. “I’m having a tough time with this.”

And Coun. Scott Anderson questioned why the city’s logo statement ‘Activate Life’ wasn’t utilized on the signs. A fair question given the ‘blandness’ and lack of ‘resonance’ perceived by council.

Staff endeavoured to defend the simple yet different approach to the signs but council was unconvinced and thus begins another chapter in the enduring but not very endearing saga of the (Welcome to) Vernon signs.

Of course it’s important to get it right, and the councillors’ concerns certainly have some merit, but for taxpayers it’s too much of the same old thing going on for far too long for something that simply shouldn’t be that difficult to accomplish. Hopefully the eventual outcome will serve as a sign of better times ahead.