Marianna Shop Owner says City Sign Ordinance Hurts Business

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Marianna- Last year, Eddie Williams opened a body shop in unincorporated Jackson County. He recently made a sign for his pick up truck, to drum-up business. But Monday, city code enforcement officials ticketed Williams for his sign.

"It's hard to do business when you can't put up a sign" Williams said.
The city said there was an ordinance against signs on parked cars, trucks, boats, campers and trailers. So while the sign may be legal at his shop in the county, it's illegal at his home in the city limits.The city also told him political signs were exempt.

"What's the difference between this sign on the back of my truck and my van which has a complete wrap on it" Williams asked. "They say the van is not a mobile sign. It's not a donut shop. It's a mobile sign."

We tried to ask city officials Thursday, but they did not return our calls.
Williams said opening a business during a time of economic struggle had been difficult enough. But, he said he was particularly disappointed city officials were trying to make running a local business harder than it should be.

"This is not Destin. This is not St. Augustine. This is Marianna, Florida and we're dying here. Jackson county is drying up" Williams said. "But this is the American dream- to own your own business. My daddy did this. I grew up in a body shop. This is all I know how to do. This is more than a business. This is who I am."

Williams told us he planned to take his complaints to the next Marianna city commission meeting in hopes of having the ordinance re-evaluated.

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