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We need to ‘dress for success’ by obeying sign ordinance

By Canon Jon Filkins

If Picayune were a larger city, and most of us are grateful it is not, there would be numerous entrepreneurs busily engaged in solely telling others how to “dress for success” in their careers. On the other hand, they could be providing direction, in the rather pedestrian pursuit of their clients removing themselves from the unemployment line. Their advice would be based on sage reasoning, as well as the sage reasoning behind their billing of strong fees for this advice.

Lacking this “professional” direction, some of us would have the natural sense of what constitutes appropriate dress and preparation for a given situation; some of us would not. It is not that we are not well meaning, for Picayune is noted for its friendliness and efforts at creating a welcoming environment for our citizens and visitors.

If you were looking at us, would you hire Picayune? What king of message are we expressing to prospective employers, retirees, tourists, and even ourselves? Over time, it has become too easy to select the cheapest way out and do just enough to get by. Often, enterprises have invested their sweat and equity into a concern, which they believe has real potential, only to dress it up in rags. If we are to use the scale of being in a tuxedo is at the top, and our oil-changing clothes are at the bottom, we are presenting ourselves in our garden work clothes.

Over time, we have become sloppy. We have erected signs, which, not only are in violation of the ordinances, but also are then left to deteriorate and decay. We have erected signs which are too numerous, too flimsy, too large, that obscure safe views, promote onerous products and present a mélange of the message of inner-city blight. Let us remember: We are what others see in us.

Many have opined about the empty storefronts. With challenges, come solutions. Many of these stores lack canopies to keep the rain off the prospective consumers, or provide shade on the sunny and humid days. They are competing against all the others, who provide an air-conditioned environment.

There has been much progress in the beautification of our City, with more to come. However, it is incumbent upon each of us to do our part and that time is now. Quality and good sense are never out of favor, at least not in Picayune.

Canon Filkins is pastor of St. Barnabus Anglican Church.