Walbridge 'bubble sign' criticized PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 09 November 2012 10:00
A truck enters Walbridge passing by a sign that reads "please slow down" installed by the mayor on East Union Street near I-280. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
WALBRIDGE - Council doesn't find anything funny about the mayor's semi-humorous attempt to slow down drivers entering the village limits from the east side of town.
Last week, Mayor Dan Wilczynski decided to put a sign on one of the welcoming conductors who sits on the line into this railroad town. The talking bubble sign above the conductor on East Union Street says "slow down."
Council voted to pop the bubble Wednesday's meeting.
"I'd personally like it taken down," said Council President Ed Kolanko, saying it looks "cartoonish."
After the meeting, the mayor said the speed limit issue is a tricky one on that side of town. As it goes into Lake Township, the speed jumps to 55 mph. It's 25 mph in the village.
Over the years, they've tried increased patrols and speed indicator signs. But usually drivers don't slow down until they're well into the village, Wilczynski said.
The conductor and his message appear to be working.
"I think it's quite good. I think it attracts attention," he said. "The day that sign went up, I saw maybe 90 percent of the people hit the brakes."
Wilczynski said he sent Kolanko an e-mail about the sign before it went up, and that four council members did not want him to erect it.
Kolanko said the new sign is overkill.
"There's already a 25 mph sign right next to it. It seems a little redundant," he said.
Kolanko pointed out that the four council members didn't want the sign.
"Our concerns were not acknowledged," he said.
Before the council vote on Wednesday, Solicitor Brian Ballenger said putting up the sign was an administrative part of the mayor's job. There is a difference, he said, between legislative action that council is responsible for, and policies that the mayor and village administrator could enact.
Ballenger suggested that council make a policy for future mayors and councils to follow.
When the vote was called, all of council voted "yes" on taking the sign down. Pat Fox initially voted to abstain.
Ballenger asked if he had a conflict of interest or some other reason for not voting. Fox said he just didn't want to vote either way on the motion.
Ballenger said that as an elected official, Fox should vote yes or no.
He changed his abstention to "yes."
Wilczynski said he will take the sign down in a few weeks.
"It took a while to get it up. Our guys are busy," he said.
After the vote, Councilman Nathan Eikost suggested that council form a committee to study the issue.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Heard the parade of lights would be held Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. The tree lighting at Veterans Park and refreshments at the VFW Hall will follow.
• Heard a soldier memorial would be dedicated Sunday at 2 p.m. in Veterans Park. J.P. Horvath of Northwood made it for his Eagle Scout project.
• Heard a luncheon for village business owners would be held Dec. 6 at 12:30 p.m. in Langaippe Hall.
• Canceled the Nov. 21 meeting. Eikost voted against the motion.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 10:15

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