Dec 19, 2006
I don't know how to speak in sign language, but I do know how to do a "thumbs up" and that is what I am doing now. I went to court in regards to my signage issue with the city.
Briefly I will remind you of the events that led to a court hearing. My portable sign was in the middle of the sidewalk, I was cited, and I moved my sign back to my front door area where it has been for over three years. The city inspector, who has plenty of free time to watch my store and write me up, decided to write me up again for my sign being next to my door! Thus a court date.
I simply went in, waited for my turn to go in front of the bench and when my turn came, I asked the judge if I could explain this set of circumstances. He allowed me and I simply explained what I just told you and I added, "You know, if the city would have just called me and told that even though they have let me have a sign next to my front door for three years now, and now I would have to stop, I would have complied. A simple phone call would have saved us a lot of time."
The judge agreed that a phone call would have been a good route for the city to take, and he asked to see the sign, and I brought in a photo of my store front with the sign by the front door area and at the same time, the city employee who was there for the inspector who wasn't there, pulled out a large photo of my store that the city inspector had taken. Our photos were almost exact, which proved that I was telling the truth.
The judge was reasonable enough to see that this was a waste of time and he understood that I thought I was complying. The fine? $24.50. The best part of the night?? When I went to pay the fine, I was informed that our city inspector will no longer be working for Maplewood! I actually wrote my check with a smile. He is off to torture another city in the area and give another load of business owners headaches. I didn't even care why he was leaving. Just as long he is leaving.
Bottom line, I stated my case, the fine was small, the judge was reasonable, and I hope I can work with the city about allowing me to have a sign so that customers can find my store. We will see. I much, much prefer to handle matters with reasonable people. Hopefully I can find one in city hall now that the city inspector is gone. I topped off the evening with my very good friend, Sherrie, and a bottle of wine and a half of a bottle of champaign, some cheese, peanut brittle, and cake. We stayed up snacking and talking until 12 AM.
And I had a brand new nephew, Broderick born today at 8:07 AM (Austin, Texas). Mom and baby are fine. My brother is beaming. And I am a very happy Aunt.
Not a bad day: small fine in court, eating cake at midnight with my good friend, and a new baby to welcome into the family.
Thank you for all your emails, support, and encouragement.
From my house to your house,