Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 18, 2015 · Page A4
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October 18, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A4

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Rochester, New York
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Sunday, October 18, 2015
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[M3.4`[A9ZXV`Z@X4W^C$AE3.XAKX9$AbO>%A4\E,))XMZ.'\X39Z<@``6,\\A))XMZ.33M+8`)..XAVV4XKA\AZ$AVV\9)A+\`@``36P@@`4KA\9$I9.;9Z.;`@X\\XI9Z<'H'XMZ.9`3(aA4.@X4$&HX\\AZ$& D9Z$;A[&]9$$\`3`G&-R`IaAK`Z2I9.;9Z.;`@X\\XI9Z<RB'XMZ.9`3(%49`&R9A<A4A&';AM.AM5MA&!`Z`3``&]XZ4X`&P4\`AZ3&DAEZ`&-DEX[9Z<2AZ$I9.;9Z.;`@X\\XI9Z<N,'XMZ.9`3( '4AI@X4$&%49`&DA44`Z&,\\`<;`ZE&*M.\`4&#AE`..`&DA3;9Z<.XZ&-D`3.[X4`\AZ$6 18**:'$%%'7%3'$:3- ),)5,"4/.1 58(+05&""&20.(6,!90#"&9,19 3'"(8!!57'.2-9-*'./ 35740(56:67625AA6/)*&8*/.5A: 6//?DA0@50869D6)5>=5A: $57*/0$*;?450C $ 47-2-9%*'.)6"-.6%9*"-2-9, +&:'"(01#-&-*'.6.:/ 35740(56:676-5,;)* &8*/.5A:6//?DA0C '(&,55 "22*,14+3-,)$(# #&('61+)1(1.'137''401,/4.(+15'4,.* !,'%7243$4'-7.",'-1),//1)* !"!&#(%&%$'# $$$%)!)#*#"'"%+&( DC-0000363749 Seats are limited - Order Tickets Today! www.nymtmuseum.org/halloween 3:30 Acar crashed into the porch of a city homeSat- urday morning. The car damaged the p orch but not the home at 178 Midland Ave., police said. The driver of the car is i n custody and an investigation into possible drunken driving underway, police said. The driver suffered minor injuries. No one e lse was hurt in the accident, which occurred around 7:30 a.m. Car crashes into porch of city home STAFF REPORTS Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has asked City Coun- c il to think d ifferently a nd approve a bill to sell ads on municipal property to raise revenue. She wants council to just do it, but lawmakers for the moment aren’t budging because they fear the legislation could lead to the city being o verrun by ads. T heir imagination at w ork has a banner on C ity Hall asking, “What’s in your wallet?” Court precedent bars ads on city halls and other public property whose primary function is the people’s work, but lawmakers are concerned that once you pop, you can’t stop and that the mayor’s proposal could be a slippery slope. It’s the betcha can’t eat just one principle. They’re also wondering, where’s the beef? T he measure contained n o details on how much r evenue the so-called City Asset Advertising Program might generate. “What we got is pretty loosey-goosey,” said Council Member Carolee Conklin, whose Finance Committee hosted a public hearing on the bill on Tuesday. “It raises more q uestions than it an- s wers.” A mong them: Will n eighborhood associations have a say in what ads go up? Does selling signage imply city endorsement of a product? Are you in good hands? Under the legislation, afive-person committee would oversee the program. Four would be City Hall officials and the City Council president would reach out and touch someone to be the fifth by appointment. In a letter to council, Warren made clear the ads won’t be everywhere you want to be; just some places. She wrote that ads would target special events, parking garages and something called “non-permanent fixtures at city-owned facilities.” That’s hardly a list that keeps going and going and going. But imagine how quickly t hose already ubiquitous a ds that ask, “Hurt in a c ar?” or urge, “Don’t wait, call 8,” could multiply under the parking garage provision. How do you spell relief? James Smith, the city’s communications director, said ad revenue generated by the pro- g ram would relieve over- b urdened taxpayers who, l ike anyone, want to save m oney, live better. He likened the program to the type of marketing initiatives in place at the Greater Rochester International Airport, where ads on the terminal and garage net the Monroe County Airport Authority upward of $574,000 a year. That’s not huge, Rochester, huge — and no one at City Hall is suggesting i ts proposal would rake in as much — but it’s something for the city to consider at a time when taxpayers don’t want to pay any more taxes. Municipal marketing programs have been around for years, yet t hey’re invariably met with skepticism when i ntroduced to a new locale. The Flower City- Flour City is no exception, and for good reason. M any people, like those of the group Monroe County People for Parks, wonder where the line will be drawn. Who w ants to walk in Durand E astman Park and be reminded that your lawn is hungry and you have to feed it? When Chicago draped i ts iconic Wabash Avenue B ridge with Bank of America adsin 2011, the move was derided as a “a visual crime,” “commercial graffiti,” and “a grotesque cheapening of the public realm.” But that program took a licking and kept on t icking, just like those of s o many other cities from Los Angeles to New York because, as the Chicago Sun-Times put it, the ads, while unappealing, “beat going bust.” Rochester will probably follow suit. Before it does, though, City Council should stand like a r ock until the program’s p otential and limits are b etter defined, lest it o pen the door to shrink- wrapping the entire city like a Regional Transit Service bus. After its Bank of America disaster, Chicago drafted what reads like a clear and sensible mission statementthat addresses things like protecting that city’s visual integrity, oversat- uration of outdoor advertising, and less being m ore. Sometimes you need a little finesse. Sometimes you need a lot. Smith said City Hall wants to emulate the tasteful municipal marketing on display in world-class cities and is o pen to more discussion. That’s good because City C ouncil has been inundated with emails about the bill and none of them said, “I’m lovin’ it.” T heir sentiment was more, “Can you hear me now?”* DANDREATTA@ G annett.com * In this column, David A ndreatta gives a nod to the well-known slogans of 24 companies and enterprises. Can you find them all? It’s an ad, ad, ad, ad, ad, ad world CARLOS ORTIZ/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Will the ad program end up shrink-wrapping the entire city? DAVID ANDREATTA COMMENTARY

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