PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Portsmouth Town Council recently approved a Community Banner Program in selected areas of town to enhance civic pride, boost community identity, and support local businesses. However, several local residents are voicing objects.
The Town Council approved the program on Monday in a split 5-2 vote with Council Vice President Linda L. Ujifusa and Councilor Len Katzman opposed.
The banners will be positioned on telephone poles along East Main and West Main Road.
Several residents voiced opposition to the program on social media after the vote.
“More signs to distract motorists on roads that are already dangerous enough to navigate…,” wrote Richie Camara.
“I think it’s a waste of funds. Banners don’t build civic pride. Investment and involvement in improvement of our schools, preservation of our natural environment, our citizens who need assistance, our library, and town services, -that’s what builds civic pride,” wrote Jane Wolk Wheeler.
The banner program was proposed by CGI Communications, the same firm that has provided the “Tour of Portsmouth” videos that are available on the home page of the Portsmouth Town web site. Like the videos, the banner program is offered at no cost to the town.
“What a waste of money and will they come down when they are tattered and faded or will they stay up as an eyesore. Whose brother-in-law is in the banner business,” wrote Eleanor Krol.
“Just because it’s “free” doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Sign pollution, it’s just more advertising blocking views,” wrote Mary Lou Krol.
Some nearby communities have adopted the program. Both Fall River and North Providence have had success with the banner program.
The program consists of installing banners that would be about five feet by two and a half feet, designed to town specifications, with the bottom 30 percent of the banner used for local business advertising.
Do you approve of the banner program? Tell us in the poll below or comment. You may also send a Letter to the Editor to Sandy@PortsmouthPress.com.