Last updated on 2012.06.27
The Madison Chamber of Commerce and Lake Area Improvement Corporation are all about banners and signs as a vital part of economic development. After twenty years in business, the Four Seasons Flea Market has finally upgraded its signage:
The Four Seasons font is crisper than before, and the alternative venders spelling will provoke all sorts of lively grammarian debates on Main Street.
But you want to see the real upgrade? Zoom in to that yellow sign in the window:
Madville Times fighting for local business... that's got to be driving the Chamber nuts.
"Why should I pay to build a business that will take my profits away?"
"You want a business? Use your own money! I did!"
With these signs, Four Seasons owner Gayle Mayberry is using her Main Street windows as an old-school blog, making her views on the million-dollar publicly subsidized thrift store proposal clear to everyone who strolls by Madison's busiest intersection. The signs for Madville Times aren't clickable hyperlinks, but they get the point across. (Hmm... maybe I should talk to Gayle about making those signs "clickable" with a QR code that folks could scan with their phones and tablets! And while we're at it, maybe we could add a comment section where people could tape their thoughts on notecards under each poster....)
I've said in the past that I respect business owners in Madison who are willing to risk a little public criticism by engaging in political speech. But I am extra pleased to see an entrepreneur who is not a big fish in the Madison business pond (slough? pothole?) taking a very vocal stand against Madison's power elites. Of course, when over 80% of residents oppose the thrift store proposal, maybe speaking out against the plan is good for business!
Now let's see if those elites are listening. The Madison City Commission tabled discussion of the thrift store for 30 days on May 29; that 30 days runs out this week. The first meeting at which city commissioners can reconsider the $150,000 handout thrift store organizers are requesting is next week, Monday, July 2, 5:30 p.m., at City Hall. The Lake County Commission will likely hear a similar subsidy request from the thrift store group the next morning. If you want our city and county commissioners to do the right thing, contact them this week (click for city commissioner contacts and county commissioner contacts).