Ironically, in the same week a sign outside of an Evansville strip club appeared to offer sexual favors stayed up for several days, but John Eickhoff at Paul’s Menswear was told by the city’s Area Plan Commission to take down his Courier & Press Reader’s Choice Award, or pay a fine.
“Seems like they’ve got more important things they could be looking into than a little 4X6 sign,” said Eickhoff.
“We don’t specifically look at (it) just because it’s a reader choice award sign,” said Area Plan Commission Director Ron London.
The Area Plan Commission looked at other signs on Franklin Street. Leroy’s also received a letter saying their temporary sign didn’t comply with the city’s zoning ordinance. “I just don’t know why all of a sudden this is such a major factor for the city to enforce,” said Eickhoff. Lamasco’s was also sent the same letter. Smitty’s was told it needed a permit to put a board on the sidewalk showing the daily specials.
“Something about this doesn’t smell right,” said Owner of Leroy’s Terri Carl. Some business owners question why nearly the entire street received the same letter. “Absolutely not, no, no, no businesses were targeted in this,” said London. “It was just that time to go look in certain areas,” he added
Some business owners say this is an arbitrary ordinance that hurts business. “We’re trying to get folks out here and for all of a sudden the city to just pick out Franklin Street…I’d like to know if they sent letters all the way around the community,” said Carl.
A short drive around Evansville shows temporary signs are all over the city, and several that we looked into do not have permits. London says around 60 letters have been sent out this month, and not just to Franklin Street. London says there have been talks with city council members and the mayor’s office of relaxing the sign ordinance.