Nothing seemed amiss at the start of the Beavercreek council meeting.
“This is the second reading of an ordinance making certain additions, deletions, and changes to various sections of the zoning code,” read the clerk.
“Is there anyone present tonight that would like to address council on this?” Mayor Bob Stone called to the audience as a balding man stepped forward.
“I didn’t catch this until today, but this thing is effective last week,” the man waved his paper in disbelief. “Did you all catch that?”
People on the dais stared down at their copies while he added, “it says this ordinance shall take effect November 1. That’s last week.”
“It’s been a standard practice,” reassured city manager Pete Landrum. “We begin at the beginning of the month.”
“But let’s go by the city charter,” shot back the commenter. “City charter says 30 days after passage. NOT postdated. Change it.”
He again thrust the paper in the air. “This one is showing up as an ’emergency’ ordinance. That’s wrong. It’s not an ’emergency.’ Now let’s get into the meat of it–”
Mayor Stone halted him before the meat. “We’re not showing this as an emergency anywhere.”
The man reached out holding his papers. “Can I approach?”
There was a small conference at the dais. “This is an emergency…effective immediately…” mumbled the mayor as he read off the page.
“That’s from the previous time,” explained the city manager, “but in the current packet–”
“No, that’s what I got off the website,” insisted the man.
More muttering about whose packet said what. Chaos was beginning to unfold. Luckily, the commenter cut off the crosstalk by getting back to his original point: this ordinance is awful.
“We have enough problem with our zoning code. This is a beautiful one,” he said sarcastically, donning his glasses and reading from the passage prohibiting trucks from parking in front of commercial buildings.
“Every business around has a truck! What have we done here?”
“Not at a business. [Parking] at a residence,” interrupted Mayor Stone.
“No, sir. Disagree,” retorted the man.
“Oh…” the mayor whispered as council members gently indicated that he was wrong and the commenter (again) knew the ordinance better than some.
The man closed in the plainest way possible. “This is a disaster waiting to happen. This is too much. Stop this tonight.”
With such an intense airing of grievances, eyes were on the mayor to clear the air and lighten the mood with his report.
“I know everybody else is gonna mention it too and I hope we all repeat it,” he grinned. “The girl’s soccer state champs–”
“And cross country,” interjected Council Member Julie Vann. “State champs! Yaaaay, women!”
“Are we gonna have enough sign space coming into the city” to list the new championships, mused the city manager.
Council Member Vann nodded. “The signs at the entryway of the city that have all the sports winnings on them–when we started that program, we didn’t expect it to be–”
“That good?” chuckled the manager.
“We were gonna post the teams within the last five years,” she explained. “We wanted to celebrate the recent ones but not every single one for eternity!”
“We will have to revisit that,” the city manager agreed, “because when we squeezed the boys’ [championship] the last time, it was like, okay, the next one we’re gonna have to have some decisions!”
I suppose this answers the question: is there such a thing as too much winning? When it comes to sign space, the answer is “yes.”