Make the right calls based on facts

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

It is hard to understand the Picayune City Council’s uncertainty in two votes cast during Tuesday’s meeting.
Members in attendance were divided on the vote to grant conditional use to a recycling office and the vote on a moratorium on digital signs.
The fact the votes were split is an indication some on the council were voting against what could be seen as common sense and best practices.
To be clear: If a business owner sets up shop in an area properly zoned for his business, the city should give him legal permission to begin operations. If he has met the city’s requirements, then there should be no reason to withhold a conditional use permit.
We sympathize with neighbors in the adjacent neighborhood who are concerned the recycling business may impact their health and wellbeing. Should there ever come a time when the recycling business can be proven to harm public health, then the city has a duty to step in and take corrective action. But until such harm can be shown, there is no point in preventing a business from opening.
On the matter of digital signs, there is already one such sign at a carwash in front of Walmart, and according Code Enforcement Officer Tom Milar, there have been numerous complaints the sign’s brightness at night is a traffic hazard. Therefore, the council should allow Milar the time he needs to research similar laws in other cities and make sure drivers in Picayune are safe.
At the same time, we understand such a delay could harm the profits of other sign companies, but a company’s bottom line is never more important than public safety. Indeed, a core function of government is to protect its citizens.
The city council will revisit both of these issues next month, and we strongly urge the council to make the right calls based on the facts next time around.

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