Political signs not welcome in Uniontown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Mayor Phillip White and the Uniontown City Council have spent a lot of time and energy cleaning up and beautifying Uniontown’s downtown area. Little wonder they’re trying to keep it that way.

After recently taking steps to deal with the vandalism of new landscaping greenery and city benches, the current target of the Council’s attention is the glut of political signs that have cropped up in Uniontown’s downtown. With the House District 72 special election now less than a month away, both candidates (Albert Turner and Ralph A. Howard) have placed plenty of signs along downtown streets.

“I think it’s tacky,” Councilman Don Moore said of the signs at the Council meeting Tuesday night. “We just dressed [downtown] up. I’ll go on record saying we need to take action now.”

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White assured the Council that the new policy would cover all signs (both those stuck in the ground and applied to posts) and all future elections, and that his only motivation for supporting such a measure was to keep Uniontown beautiful.

“This isn’t just for this election or for these two candidates,” he said. “This goes for everybody.”

After the clarification, Moore moved that the Council ban “any signage in the immediate downtown area, from Franklin St to Washington St along Water Avenue.” The Council passed the motion by unanimous voice vote.

In another effort to preserve the new downtown atmosphere, the Council agreed to work with Uniontown Chief of Police Donald Rhodes to erect and enforce a “No Loitering” sign where residents have been unlawfully congregating and lingering.

In other news from the Council’s Monday night meeting:

* The District 5 council seat left open by the recent untimely death of Rev. Terry Bassett was officially declared vacant by the Council. No plans were made Monday to fill the vacancy.

* Chief Rhodes reported that the Black Belt Club has been closing at a later hour than the law allows and has also been responsible for complaints of loud music. “I think we need to call [the owner] in and talk to him,” Rhodes said. The Council agreed and White also promised to bring before the council another individual responsible for playing high-decibel music outdoors.

* Uniontown’s Fire and Police Departments will grow more experienced and qualified in the coming months, as two firefighters and two policemen will be attending academies for certification. The firefighting academy will be April 23 and 24 in Tuscaloosa, with the policemen in training the first week of May.

* The recent spring thunderstorms produced a new round of leaks in the Uniontown Recreation Center, much to the Council’s dismay since the roof has been recently repaired. The Council agreed to apply the warranty done on the recent work to have the roof repaired again.