Commissioners Roll Back Ban on Sponsored Banners
Public reaction helped fuel change, officials say.
The Haddonfield Board of Commissioners this week repealed their own ban on sponsors on banners hung over Kings Highway after a groundswell of resentment and confusion over the new rule.
The commissioners decided to allow community groups to have a total of two sponsors on banners as long as it doesn't take up more than 10 percent of it. The sponsor ban was enacted last month after a request for a Grace Church rummage sale banner with sponsors was rejected by the commissioners.
Officials said while there was no formal ban against sponsors on banners, the borough's Historic Preservation Commission and two of three commissioners thought sponsored banners were not a good use of public space and did not conform with existing sign regulations for retailers in the town's historic district.
Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said the commissioners took note of public reaction in making the change.
"It was based on feedback the commissioner received from a number of residents and organizations to make them rethink their policy that they will allow it with those conditions," McCullough said.
The commissioners listened to a request from parents of the Elizabeth Haddon School for a sponsored banner for an upcoming event before they made their decision Monday. The parents unfurled a 20-foot banner that wrapped around one end of a conference table in the meeting room to make their point.
Respondents to a recent Haddonfield Patch poll opposed the ban by a better than 2-to-1 margin.
"It's just another oddball rule that we really don't need in this town," said John Poliero, a Grace Church member and local business owner whose endorsement was not allowed on a banner that hangs over Kings Highway this week. "When times are good, people don't mind complying with weird rules. But when times are tough, it's hard."