As Commission Votes On Clear Channel's 14 New LED Billboards, Activists Protest

Categories: Politicks
sarnoffmoney.jpg
Sarnoff, the city's biggest billboard backer, has taken thousands from advertising companies.
Raise your hand if this sounds like what Miami needs: fourteen new glowing LED billboards along the highway demanding drivers in hi-def to buy Svedka Vodka, iPods and cut-rate car insurance. Oh, hi there Commissioner Marc Sarnoff!

This morning, the Miami Commission will decide whether to give Clear Channel the go ahead for the new signs, even though activists argue they're unsafe and against state and federal law. We're sure the fact that Sarnoff has received thousands from outdoor advertisers will play zero role in this process.


The amendment doesn't specify where Clear Channel will build the new signs and would require the sign company to remove 38 older signs around town in return.

The problem is that LED signs clearly violate local, state and federal sign codes, says Barbara Bisno, a former federal prosecutor and activist on the issue.

Worse, they likely impact driver safety. Bisno says she's worried that Clear Channel is rushing through the new amendment to beat a federal safety study on the signs that's due to be released soon.

"If they show that these signs are dangerous, someone will have to move them and it could easily cost taxpayers big money," she says.
"This is a question of public safety, not just of citizens against big corporations."

Sarnoff is expected to miss today's meeting, but Bisno says she's been told a hearty letter of support from the commish will be read in favor of the new project.

As we reported last fall, Sarnoff has received more than $5,000 in corporate donations from outdoor advertising companies while becoming the biggest backer of new billboards -- including a failed push for 40-story ads next to the Arsht Center.


Update: The resolution passed. Bisno sent the commission a letter thanking them for opening up the floor for discussion on the signs but slamming their final decision.

"It troubles me greatly that you and your fellow commissioners approved resolutions which provided for illegal signs and did not give notice to residents of the precise locations of these LED billboards," she writes. "The residents who oppose this visual pollution will stay on the job."


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17 comments
Andrew
Andrew

Nice blog.... and here is most useful and knowledgeable content. i enjoy this section.

Hates residents?
Hates residents?

What's up with this Sarnoff dude? He seems to hate residents?

Billboards in parks
Billboards in parks

Sarnoff loves billboards. He approved 5 on public parks. Why doesn't Sarnoff put a billboard in the park across from his home?

Billboards = Blight
Billboards = Blight

Miami Commissioners voted to approve a minimum of 14 new LED billboards to be installed by Clear Channel. All the offensive billboards will be installed near I-95, I-195 and I-395. Clear Channel is a large campaign contributor to the elected officials who voted Yes.

As billboards increase Miami looks Third World.

Fartbongo
Fartbongo

This blog should win an award for allowing the most uncited facts in history.. Half of this story was just jibberish and made up.

RawFishShoes
RawFishShoes

So they are eliminating 38 billboards and erecting 14 that can change message at least 3 times a minute. Sounds to me like they just added 42 billboards. Why don't they just call them "murals" and erect as many as possible under the guise of art?

Billboard Blight
Billboard Blight

Think massive billboards are increasing in Miami? Highways getting cluttered with outdoor advertising? Thank Marc Sarnoff.

Pay to play
Pay to play

Miami. Clear Channel has no trouble buying votes of elected officials. Doesn't anyone wear a wire nowadays?

14 more LED Billboards
14 more LED Billboards

Commissioners voted 4 to 0, with out-of-town Marc Sarnoff sending a letter demanding his fellow commissioners grant Clear Channels' every wish. Odd behavior from Sarnoff who had campaigned in 2006-2007 as an opponent of "visual pollution.". Sarnoff has not confirmed if the 80 campaign checks from Clear Channel and other billboard companies affected his flip.

anon1
anon1

Sure, why not. But put the billboards in Coconut Grove. In front of Sarnoff's house.

nevernot
nevernot

Recall the bastard now. He obviously is not working in the citizens best interest, even the most casual observer of Miami politics can see this.

Miami officials lack vision
Miami officials lack vision

"Third World"? So appropriate when you look at the lack of vision among the lightweights governing Miami.

Tim Elfrink
Tim Elfrink

Like what, oh wise Fartbongo? Point out something untrue in the story and I'll happily retract.

Miami_cpa
Miami_cpa

"Sounds like they added 42 billboards"?? Obviously a product of the Miami Dade school system. I'd much rather see 38 uglies come down and 14 high-tech replace them.

RawFishShoes
RawFishShoes

Apparently we can't recall Scott. Not yet.

“Citizens have now formed a Facebook group to advocate his recall. This after less than two months in office. But they should probably speak with Rep. Rick Kriseman first. Last week, Kriseman introduced a bill that would allow the recall of state officials.”

RawFishShoes
RawFishShoes

And can't we start a recall of Rick Scott too?

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