Wind: 6 mph
To The Editor:
I was catching up on the local news after returning from a trip and was dismayed to read the article about Waitsfield sign scofflaws.
The only good point was Mr. Hosford's suggestion to discuss the matter with the chamber of commerce. To begin to get an idea of why businesses are pushing the envelope on this issue I would refer the board to the front page article regarding restaurants in The Valley. I think that the chamber of commerce may confirm that this scenario is not limited to eating establishments.
I don't have hard survey facts, but discussions with many of my fellow merchants here have indicated that sales are significantly down from previous years. Whether you choose to believe it or not, we are in an economic slump. Locals are feeling the pinch and have cut spending. The tourists, the life blood of this community, are not here. Businesses are putting up signs and sandwich boards in an attempt to draw in every person they can in a struggle to survive.
The Waitsfield Select Board has a couple of paths to take here. They can work with the chamber and local business to find a creative and mutually beneficial approach, or they can pursue their normal line of enforcement to the death. The latter will likely lead to an explosion of new "closed" and "for sale" signs.
Waitsfield business owner