Not A Banner Day

There are days I’m proud of our city and take pride in the advancements we have made to bounce back from the economic downturn of the closing of the steel mills to being a technology-driven, modern city worthy of the title “America’s Most Livable”. Then, there are those moments that make wonder if our city is still we are still stuck in the stone age.

The latter is the case surrounding the latest city government flap. Here’s the gist of it: Because of the whole electronic message board fiasco on Grant Street, there is a moratorium on signs and banners being put up in downtown Pittsburgh. A moratorium that neither city council nor the mayor seem willing to try and lift in time to honor the Penguins.

The proposed Penguins Banner which may .. or may not .. go up downtown

There was a plan being floated to put up a giant banner downtown to recognize the Pens as they pursue their first Stanley Cup in 16 years. This would seem like a no-brainer, just lift the ban and raise the banner. However, because of the controversy surrounding that proposed message board on Grant Street and how certain parties tried to get it approved, a moratorium was put in place on all signage in town.

Are you kidding me? Are we really going to let petty politics get in the way of a moment of civic pride? I’m looking at this not as a journalist, but as a fan who knows that these moments in the one-time “City of Champions” do not come around often and to miss the chance to celebrate this cup run because a few politicians can’t seem to come to an agreement strikes me as flat out ridiculous.

There is still time for the mayor and the city council to do the right thing … and just for this moment … suspend the moratorium on signs. I sincerely hope that will be the case. Otherwise, our leaders have given us one more reason to be cynical and another reason not to believe they have the best interests of our city at heart.

However, the politicians do get a bailout. They happen to govern one of America’s most beautiful cities so even if thr banner doesn’t fly, Pittsburgh will still show well on television. It will shine like a city on the hill, but with no visable signs of the silliness that took place behind closed doors to deny the Pens and their fans a moment to celebrate.

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