Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageVt. truck dealership told to stop promoting local charities

By Martin Laine     Feb 22, 2011 in Politics
In what seems to be a case of state regulators run amok, the owner of a Jericho, Vt., truck dealership has been told he can no longer use his business sign to promote local charities or announce local events.
In an article in today’s Burlington Free Press, Randy H. Clark, owner of Clark’s Truck Center, said he has been told that he must restrict the messages on his digital sign to information related to his business, such as sales and special offers.
The current sign was put up in 2009 after an older time and temperature sign stopped working. With the new sign, he has posted messages about blood drives, church suppers, and various fundraising events. It has also been used for safety messages and road closings.
The state Transportation Agency sees things differently. Using a 1977 legal opinion, that board believes Clark is violating state law by promoting events taking place off premises.
John LaBarge, who represents the agency on the Vermont Travel Information Council, said that Clark’s business is the only one not in compliance with the law, and the agency will consider legal action against him if he does not comply.
For his part, Clark said he has offered compromises but that the agency is apparently not interested. He said further that he was visited by an assistant attorney general, who would speak with him about the matter only if he did not have a lawyer.
Clark said he does not charge for the use of his sign, but that he encourages people to make donations to the “Clark Community Fund.” A webpage gives the fund’s history and explains its purpose.
Last year, proceeds from the sign helped raise $4,269 for the local cemetery association to help pay for tree removal and last month $3,222 was raised for a couple that lost many of their possessions in a fire. A local school recognized Clark for supporting events at the school.
Complicating matters is a letter Clark received last week from Town Planner Seth Jensen, asserting that the sign should not be used for announcing items for sale, but for announcing “events hosted by local organizations."
More about Vermont Transportation Agency, Randy H Clark, Clark's Truck Center
More news from