BY LINDA BENTLEY | JUNE 13, 2012
Carefree authorizes installation of test sign for public comment
‘We’re going from big circus signs to very smaller classy signs’
Photo by Linda Bentley
CAREFREE – Following a presentation by Councilman Mike Farrar, during which council members were presented with designs and costs of signs by Signarama in Phoenix and Bertram Signs and Graphics in Carefree, with Councilman Marty Salzman absent, council unanimously decided to go with one of Bertram’s proposed designs to replace what Councilman Glenn Miller referred to as the “circus signs” in the town’s rights of way.
Councilman Arthur Gimson said he liked how the design has progressed and preferred the mountain cut-outs at the top of the Signarama signs.
Farrar said he preferred the Signarama design and called it “artistic” and “unique.”
He said, “Not that I don’t like the other signs, I just prefer the Signarama design.”
When Miller stated, “We’re not a mountain community. It reminds me of Colorado,” members of the community broke out into applause.
Miller also said he liked the sundial icon on the Bertram signs and stated he was not big on rust, which was the color of the metal sign designed by Signarama.
During discussion, Councilman Jim Van Allen held up meeting minutes from February and asked, “Do you see the word ‘test?’”
He said all council approved in February was placing a test sign on Pima Road south of Cave Creek Road.
Van Allen stated all the rest needed to come after the test sign was installed and voted on by council, the business owners and citizens.
He suggested sending out a survey after the sign was installed to find out what the community thought of the new sign design.
“Mike’s idea of putting ‘Carefree’ on the roundabouts is ingenious,” said Van Allen, referring to a proposal made by Farrar, that would need to go in the new year’s budget, to install large backlit letters spelling “Carefree” on the roundabouts.
The majority of the business owners and community members present seemed to prefer one of Bertram’s designs over another and believed the work should go to a local merchant.
One citizen said it appears Carefree has an identity crisis and asked what council planned to do if citizens didn’t like the test sign, because council didn’t appear to have a back-up plan.
Miller balked at putting up a test sign and doing a survey, stating they were elected by the citizens to make these decisions and said, “We’re going from big circus signs to very smaller classy signs.”
He also read into the record a letter from Harry Vardakis of Palm Desert Realty regarding the signs.
Vardakis stated the present signs were “too Walt Disney,” said he didn’t care for the designs with mountains and asked council not to make the lettering on the signs any smaller.
When council began discussing the color or the signs and a location for the test sign, Mayor Schwan suggested a motion for council to approve a test sign and appoint Miller and Price to work with Bertram on the final color/design details and location for the test.