[Durham INC] too many compelling reasons to oppose billboard industry's push to overturn ban -- response to Cree letter
randy at 27beverly.com
Mon Jan 19 15:45:56 EST 2009
Let's just break it down to facts of what is proposed (we do know some of
what the billboard indusy is wanting to do):
No new billboards will added. If there is a billboard there now, one of
the new ones will replace it. There will be nothing new. Same dimensional
Light from the new billboard will be the same or less than the existing
billboaed it will replace (except during the day when in order for the
billboard to be seen, it must be lit). So there is no additional light
pollution. If you have a problem seeing because of one now, that probably
will not change. But I've not heard of anyone complaining about one
particular billboard that blinds them right now so it's safe to assume the
new ones will not either (since their light is the same or less).
I am glad Durham has replaced some of the bulbs in the red lights. They
need to do all of them. They LED light bulbs use 90% less electricity,
require less maintenance and save our tax dollars for other stuff besides
electricity waste. So buying more is not bad, it's good. And replacing all
of our bulbs over time will do nothing but save more. Yea for Cree for
saving tax dollars for other projects. The digital billboards are not
public projects, they are businesses. They will only pay more taxes. They
contribute to our tax base, not take away from it. They don't even use any
of our tax based services. So mixing public issues with private business
is just not the same. Every business should be given the opportunity to
expand and thrive. Even if some don't like it. Just recount the recent
flack over the new Adam and Eve store. There were a bunch of folks that
didn't like the idea of it in their neighborhood. Me, I salute PHE for
helping protect our constitutional rights. I don't judge them for their
business any more than I blame McDonalds for making our kids fat. It's a
business and will thrive or fail on its own merits.
The Fairway I spoke with is in Raleigh. Money it pays it's employees,
property taxes it pays, ALL stay in our community. And to think all their
funds go to Georgia is just clouding the issue further. Revenue generated
in NC is taxed in NC as is the property taxes generated for NC communities
they are in.
Risk to local government is the same as it is to local residents and
businesses. When "progress" happens and roads are widened, homes and
businesses are removed. It's the same compensation we'd offer a homeowner
or business if we relocated them. Just look at the homes and businesses
removed for the widening of I-85, for widening Guess Road, for building
147 or the soon-to-be-built East End Connector. It's the same compensation
for "progress" that we already pay. So this really isn't an issue.
You can raise all the safety issues you want. Talk about how they will
blind some, how they cause accidents, etc. But there is no, none, zero,
zip, nada evidence anywhere to support this emotional plea. It's like
wearing bandaids on your fingers before you cut them. It's like I said
earlier, let's try dealing with just the facts. The emotional stuff is
best left at the door...
> As expected, after several weeks of letters from across the community
> opposing electronic billboards near our homes, schools, parks and places
> of worship -- we finally see one saying we should just ignore all the
> compelling reasons to oppose industry's push to overturn Durham's ban on
> electronic billboards.
> Just because some of the parts may be made in Durham, doesn't mean we
> should overturn our current ban on electronic billboards. This argument is
> a red herring meant to distract people -- just as digital billboards are
> designed to distract drivers.
> Let's break it down...
> * Cree is a good local company. We've already bought plenty of LED
> products in Durham, including traffic signal lights.
> There are other public/civic initiatives that we could support -- putting
> all LED lights in schools and public buildings, tax incentives for LED
> lighting in new construction, exploring LED lights for outdoor lighting,
> etc. These ideas would benefit the Durham community, support Cree, help
> keep Cree employees working and spending locally, and put money back into
> the Durham economy.
> * By contrast, Fairway is based in Georgia. So profits generated here in
> Durham would go to Georgia.
> * Overturning Durham's ban on digital billboards wouldn't overcome the
> risk to Durham and Durham taxpayers. Federal law states that if Durham
> ever decided to remove billboards, Durham would have to reimburse the
> billboard company for the cost of the billboards -- and any FUTURE revenue
> the billboards would generate. That's a huge risk to impose on local
> government and Durham taxpayers.
> * Overturning the ban on digital billboards would allow large screens that
> blink/flash new pictures every 7-8 seconds. Designed to distract, the new
> billboards would endanger public safety.
> Imagine driving around a curve on a local highway -- in a rainstorm. Your
> view is dominated by big bright billboards -- all blinking new ads,
> reflecting off your windshield and the wet pavement in front of you.
> * Cree makes a number of products that can make our lives better -- solid
> state lighting for homes and commercial uses, video lighting, traffic
> signals, etc.
> But Durham should not subsidize the one product that makes our lives
> worse, while consuming enormous amounts of energy, raising safety issues
> for drivers, and putting Durham taxpayers at risk.
> There are too many compelling reasons to oppose the billboard industry's
> push to overturn Durham ban on electronic billboards.
> Durham INC Mailing List
> list at durham-inc.org
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