Name calling and personal attacks were just part of the occasionally tense meeting Monday morning between business owners and the Palm Springs city council.
At odds is the ongoing conflict over signs at downtown store fronts.
In the past, store owners have been fined over ordinance violations for certain signs.
And once those signs come down, they say, they see a down-swing in business.
That’s because signs that would otherwise indicate stores being opened would disappeared keeping potential customers from coming in.
In the first of three meetings with the city’s sign ordinance sub-committee, almost three dozen people packed the city’s conference room to let their complaints be heard.
Joy Meredith, the president of the Main Street Businesses, says several recommendations were made to the city council.
One of them includes allowing frame signs or some other type of freestanding sign on private property.
It was something that one storeowner got in trouble for when she displayed mannequins outside her shop.
“I got a notice saying you’ve got to take these things down,” Marianne Hunzicker said. “‘You got away with it for too long.'”
The downtown store merchants believe the code enforcement officers are unfair with its enforcement.
“If you have a grand opening sign, you have to take it down within 30 days,” said one merchant Monday. “But an out of business sign, you keep it up forever.”
Mayor pro tem Ginny Foat and Councilman Chris Mills moderated Monday’s special meeting but sometimes that meeting turned tense with name calling, finger pointing, and insults.
“We don’t want personal attacks on our employees,” Councilwoman Foat said. “Just as I won’t allow a person to attack anybody’s business.”
But with store owners already attacked with accumulating citations and fines and the prospect of going out of business, they say they need the city’s help in the situation.
If not, the city may see more signs – picket signs.