BY JUDY SHERIDAN
The big and often brightly colored message boards outside Maria Bonita’s restaurant on FM Road 1187 may soon disappear, judging from the thoughts expressed by Aledo City Council members and others during a joint work session of city boards Tuesday.
The unique signs — in a near constant state of flux — announce team victories, meetings and events. They mark birthdays and other special occasions in a big way from a highly visible location on the main drag that most Aledo residents are likely to pass.
The signs are a safety hazard, however, said Mayor Kit Marshall, especially with ongoing construction in the area.
“I’m deeply concerned, as there’s been digging and re-routing of lines,” she said, “and I don’t want someone getting hurt putting up a celebratory message.”
Marshall said the signs, which first appeared when a store on the site was torn down, are not historic, unlike the Paint Shack that the Aledo Church of Christ has agreed to keep in its parking lot.
The shack is also used for messages.
The mayor also questioned whether Aledo residents use the signs.
“I wonder what percentage of those messages are from residents of our city versus those of the greater community,” she said.
Public Works Director Gordon Smith said the FM Road 1187 signs are located on both city right-of-way and private property.
“If someone is painting the north side of the sign, they’re on Maria Bonita’s property,” he said. “If they’re painting the south side, they’re in the city right-of-way.”
Councilwoman Jean Bailey said she was in favor of removing the signs. She thought they might detract from the mural Aledo High School students are painting on the restaurant’s exterior wall, but also worried that the mural space might invite a backlash of messages if the signs go away.
Bailey echoed Marshall’s sentiments on safety.
“I think it’s a very dangerous place, especially when people driving on the streets are merging,” she said.
Councilwoman Kim Hiebert supported taking down the signs, saying, “They look pretty bad.”
“There’s something really special about those message boards,” she conceded, “but there’s still the historical building, and that’s allowed.”
Councilman Bill McLeRoy and another board member championed the message boards, saying they are part of a unique community tradition.
“It isn’t bothering me that there’s not another city doing this,” McLeRoy said, commenting that overregulation by cities inhibits the expression of viewpoints.
“My input is to try to find another venue — private property somewhere else — where we can do something similar.”
Warren Pearson offered that the city could take the signs down during road construction “with the caveat that you’re studying putting it in another place.”
“Is there a consensus that we remove the signs for safety?” Marshall asked. “All right, during that time, we’ll look at other options.”
Message boards deemed safety issue
BY JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Suspicious house fire under investigation
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Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
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Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
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