APC “Sign GOONS” Ordered to Stop Issuing Fines: Government to “Modernize” Law


Last week the City County Observer was the first media outlet to take the City of Evansville to task over threatening to fine businesses on Franklin Street $500 for non compliance with local ordinances and today the City and County backed down.

Evansville and Vanderburgh County governments are suspending fines related to the business sign ordinances so the rules can be changed to be more business friendly.

In a joint announcement Vanderburgh County Commissioner Marsha Abell and Mayor Lloyd Winnecke mandated that the Area Plan Commission staff to “restart the process to review and modernize the city and county sign ordinances, starting with ordinances that regulate temporary signs.” Both offices issued press releases to that effect.

Local merchants have stood solidly against the threats of fines over story boards and actually coined the term “Sign Nazis” to describe the ordinances that have been on the books in Evansville and Vanderburgh County for some years. Only when the threats were made did these businesses even know of the laws.

At this time the identity of the person(s) who sent the threats of fines has not been released.  Please read the CCO IS IT TRUE tomorrow morning because you shall recive additional information on this developing story.


  1. Oh Boy, our great and magnificent mayor, while the President of the County Commissioners enacted this crazy ordinance and his appointed sign czar, the honorable Ron London, is in charge of the GREAT SHAKE down of small businesses, by the way, during the Christmas Season, and now, become the savior of small business concerns. What a crock of crap. Now, the Council, namely Al Lindsey and joined by John Friend, become pro-active, while this Mayor is reactive….!!!!

    • Yours is a terrible and misguided assessment of the truth.

      First off, Ron London is one of the more conservative development engineers to have worked in Vanderburgh and Warrick County. I assure you that he is not prone to be a sign Nazi or any sort of puppet for proponents of over regulation.

      Moreover, both Lloyd Winnecke and Marsha Abell have proven by the appointments and marching orders made since they assumed their present positions in the City and County executives that they intend to promote development and reduce or eliminate excessive regulation.

      Unfortunately, decisions have been made in the past by APC, City Council, and County Commissioners that have increased user fees, permit costs, and at least seemingly encouraged or allowed certain middle management and underlings to continue to write excessive fees and over regulation into local zoning, development, and signage ordinances.

      • Oh, and by the way, your hero John Friend was on the City Council the last time certain permit fees were raised and sign ordinances updated. So he’s not less culpable than those you rail against, and he certainly has had plenty of time to correct the defects during his tenure as councilman. He’s just as reactive as anyone other local politician, and more so than most.

        • Didn’t Mayor and his puppet Marsha go along with the Homestead Tax Credit deal?

  2. As I recall, this Mayor touted the notion that once he became Mayor, the city ordinances would be revamped to the 21st Century and he would be pro-business, etc. etc. etc. Now he claims that fines will be suspended. So, now we will have some who are fined and other who are not. What kind of government is that, maybe a Banana Republic!!!

    • Where did you read some would be fined and some would not? It is folks like you that help this site thrive. Half truths, omitted details, and pure rubish are key to the survival of blog sites like this.
      This whole discussion started because some businesses followed the rules and some did not. When the ones who were not following the rules where told they would have to pay the same fees as everyone else, folks like you went nuts.
      This site is not media. It is a dumping ground for unsubtantiated claims and anti-administration theories. There is a reason they use MOLES and Is it True. That way, they can never be held accounatble for what shows up on here.
      This “story” broke when a business went to Facebook to complain they were being picked on by the city. They were being “picked on” because they were asked to pay the same fees as everyone else. A blogger posted their “complaint” on here and the CCO staff jumped on it. Why, because it was another chance to bash the city. After all, that is why the CO was started to begin with.
      Is the sign fee a good thing? I don’t think so. But unless you can show me where downtown businesses were given an excemption because of the Mayor’s desire to build donwtown up while crucifying the W.Franklin area, this is all just typical CCO complaining.

    • While everyone is using the “Sign Nazi” dogmatism go to (WWW. Wikipedia.org/wiki/collaborator.)
      Look up the negativity involved in using the wording “collaborators”or “collaboration”,yuck! (signs)

  3. Dear Editor

    I will be open and honest with you and feel that the “Sign Nazi” headline is offensive to those of the Jewish faith. In light of the various positions by a local Jewish couple who went on a mission about crosses on the Riverfront, I would ask that you see the disrespect that the use of a “Nazi-meme” is for those of the Jewish faith, and that to evoke Nazi “tactics” over something as simple as a sign debate is in poor taste. Your headline tries to allege that APC members and staff have decided to use “Nazi” methods, and I find that even slight linkage to be deplorable

    In almost every heated debate, one side or the other—often both—plays the “Nazi card”, that is, criticizes their opponent’s position by associating it in some way with Adolf Hitler or the Nazis in general. This move is so common that it led Mike Godwin to develop the well-known “Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies” to read “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

    No one wants to be associated with Nazism because it has been so thoroughly discredited in both theory and practise. So, linking an idea with Nazism has become a common form of argument ascribing guilt by association.

    The Nazi Card is often combined with other fallacies, for instance, a weak analogy between an opponent and Nazism, or between the opposition political group and the Nazis. A related form of fallacious analogy is that which compares an opposition’s actions with the Holocaust. This is a form of the ad Nazium fallacy because it casts the opposition in the role of Nazi. Not only do such arguments assign guilt by association, but the analogy used to link the opposition’s actions with the Holocaust may be superficial or question-begging.

    Playing the Nazi Card demonizes opponents (in this case, the APC) in debate by associating them with evil, and almost always derails the discussion. People naturally resent being associated with Nazism, and are usually angered. In this way, playing the Nazi Card can be an effective distraction in a debate, causing the opponent to lose track of the argument. However, when people become convinced by guilt by association arguments that their political opponents are not just mistaken, but are as evil as Nazis, reasoned debate can give way to violence. So, Nazi the Hitler Card is more than just a dirty trick in debate.

    I would ask that you honor the numerous local residents who are practising Jewish faith, and please remove the references to “Nazi” tactics

    • Check the text of the message. We did not coin that term. It came from people the CCO interviewed. By the way, I am part Jewish myself and do not take offense to this kind of use of the term. If you wish we could use something like KGB, ton-ton moucout, stormtroopers, brown shirts, hit men, goon squad, or some other term that represents some authoritarian group that enforces silly rules.

      Which do you prefer?

      • Editor: From afar,the whole sign thing looks like a Napoleon complex to me.
        Maybe, Mark Anthony,and little Caesar and the boys,check the shoes,”elevators”.

        The old Patton movie..”paper hanging SOBs” 😉

Comments are closed.