I don't think I'm spilling any state secrets when I tell you that Wild Bill's is sponsoring a concert this Saturday. These posters first appeared on downtown trees in early September. After a phone call to those in charge of enforcing the city's ordinance about not putting posters on street trees, the posters came down. Now they are back up.
So what's so bad about posters on trees -- or on streetlights and signal boxes for that matter? Well, it's mostly a problem of "what if everyone did that?" and of who has the right to use the public sidewalk and streetscape for private advertising. On Main Street, the Downtown Business District put up kiosks every block or so. Anyone is welcome to put up posters about their events -- whether they are a for-profit business (like Wild Bill's) or a non-profit community event. The Downtown Guides take care of the kiosks, removing outdated notices and clutter. But even though the Kiosks are available, every few months some bar from Hartford comes down to Main Street and covers every streetlight and tree with a notice about their drink specials.
Now I'm not looking for totalitarian efficiency here. I kind of like seeing everyone's tag sale and lost cat notices. One of my favorite Middletown moments every Spring is peering out through the rain at the Coleman's Carnival posters dripping on telephone poles throughout town.
But the current crop of Wild Bill's posters is a little much. There are even some trees that have two posters, just so you can see their advertisement coming and going.
So what's to be done? I'm not sure, but I hope that Wild Bill's applies the same gusto in removing the posters come Sunday morning.