Willows Sign Ordinance Controversy

May 11, 2010 7:47 PM

An alleged comment made by Willows city manager Steve Holsinger has fired up many small business owners in Willows. Local real estate agent Raeann Titus claims Holsinger told her many businesses in Willows were "worthless." However, Holsinger says that is not true. Richard Thomas, owner of Glenn County Title Company, isn't weighing in on the comment but does say he's not happy with the city's current policies when it comes to business. "Our city government needs to promote business and if they're not promoting business, they are deterring business and it all comes back to the attitude you receive when you walk into any business."

Thomas is part of a small group called Citzens For Economic Stability. They say they want city officials to do more to boost the economy and to promote business. They also want to see a change in the sign ordinance. They say it is too expensive for businesses to have signs and it is not enforced fairly. "The fees I think are way out of line when they are charging in the thousands of dollars just for a pass over account to put a sign on your business, I think it is being very unfair," Karen Roberts, owner of Health Habit explained.

Big signs like the ones Wal Mart and Round Table use would cost a minimum of a thousand dollars for the city to review, but the manager says that is a typical fee for a small town like Willows. He also says businesses can have sandwich board signs on their property for free or pay a fifty-eight dollar permit fee for a small sign. Some business owners say Holsinger is using the ordinance to take the attention off his alleged comments, but he denies that. "I don't think it is an appeasement at all, I think it is just an attempt to have a continuing discussion about what revisions may be necessary to our codes, if any."

The proposed change to the ordinance would relax some of the current standards and would only apply to businesses licensed with Willows. The City Council meeting starts Tuesday night at seven at Willows City Hall.


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