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The back of the Laurel Park neighborhood sign has the city's logo painted on it. City rules call for just one side of the sign to be decorated.
Sarasota Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 4 years ago

Laurel Park sign: two sides to story

by: Robin Roy City Editor

The Laurel Park neighborhood-identification sign on Osprey Avenue has occasionally been the target of vandals, who have sprayed graffiti on it.

Late last month, some residents were surprised to see a different kind of paint job on their sign.

Despite a city rule that only allows a decoration or logo on one side of the sign, someone had painted the city’s logo on the backside of the sign.

“A bush would have looked better,” said Deborah Dart, who was president of the Laurel Park Neighborhood Association when the city originally installed the sign in 2007.

Dart began investigating who may have altered the sign.

After a series of e-mails with city officials, Todd Kucharski, general manager of public works, said he had instructed his landscaping employees to place the city logo on the sign.

“I thought the logo would look nice and perhaps deter people from putting graffiti on it,” he said. “(I) didn’t know that this would be such a concern.”

Because the city dictates only one side of the sign be decorated, the Laurel Park sign will be changing, but it could be at least one month before that happens.

The city wants the neighborhood association to determine what it would like done, and its next board meeting isn’t until March 4.

Dart has expressed to Kucharski her preference.

“I believe upon installation of the sign, the neighborhood recommended a crown or thorn or similar ‘tough’ plant to be used to soften the stark backside of the sign and deter graffiti artists,” she said. “The concept of a city department taking this upon itself to change … it’s just weird.”

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected]


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