I recently had a garage sale, which my family has done for over 40 years. I put a $30 ad in and paid money for nice signs. People who read the ads also look for signs as they are out and about. People at my sale who saw the ad said they did not see any signs for the sale later on my first day. I thought maybe kids were taking them. It happened again the next day when we were not getting customers and a lady said she saw the ad but no signs. I called the city of Elk River and was told the city is taking the signs; evidently it has been an ordinance but they are now enforcing it.
What good reason is there to do this? In my opinion, it’s a waste of taxpayer’s money to pay an employee of the city to drive around, pick up the signs and haul them to the public works facility, where I was told I could go pick them up. I was dumbfounded and very angry. My garage sale sign was not blocking a roadway, traffic or other important sign. In fact, hosting garage sales helps people who either cannot afford high prices at retail stores or people who just enjoy treasure hunting to find things they need or want. Garage sales promote community recycling, which is an environmentally friendly policy that I believe the city and most folks agree is a good thing. A city representative I spoke with said my signs were on “public” land. I ask who is the “public”? Aren’t we entitled to drive on the roadways, walk on the public sidewalks and therefore use the little strip of dirt alongside it for summertime sales? I believe the “public” are still the taxpayers who pay the public servants’ salaries. The mayor said they are currently re-evaluating the garage sale sign ordinance. I ask all who like garage sales and actually rely on them to help clothe their families and keep their household expenses down to voice their opinion in favor of permitting the use of garage sales signs in our community. If the signs remain up longer than the dates listed, then the city could take them down at that time. We are not Maple Grove. Our city motto sign still says, “Where City and Country Flow Together.” Let’s not forget that.— Gwen Smith, Elk River