Madeira Beach Commissioner Terry Lister gets ready to descend in a bucket truck after hanging the first of the new city signs at the foot of the John’s Pass Bridge.
MADEIRA BEACH – Bright, colorful banners promoting the city of Maderia Beach have arrived and will be going up at the city’s gateway entrances on the John’s Pass and Causeway bridges. Also, beach accesses and bus shelters will be “branded” with the city’s logo.
Commissioner Terry Lister has pushed for the signs, and persevered as legal issues and other obstacles delayed their approval. He was delighted to be chosen to hang the first banner on the John’s Pass Bridge at the beginning of busy Thanksgiving week.
Getting the “government-installed signs,” as they are officially called, has been a challenge from the start. Banners that are up for more than 30 days are prohibited by the city code, City Attorney Thomas Trask pointed out when the topic was first discussed. Trask said the city itself is allowed to install signs, so “government-installed signs” would be permitted.
The wording is tricky, but the purpose is what counts, Lister said. He sees the signs as an effective way to “brand” the city of Madeira Beach.
“People come to John’s Pass and they don’t know whether they’re in St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, the Redingtons or Madeira Beach,” Lister said.
“That’s why I’ve been really, really pushing to brand the city of Madeira Beach. To make us a place people will recognize, want to visit and come back to,” he said.
The first signs were headed for the bridge at John’s Pass, where Lister said “there were two perfectly good arms standing out there just waiting for these banners to be put up.”
The banners are two-sided, with “Welcome to City of Madeira Beach” on one side and “Thank you for visiting City of Madeira Beach” on the back. They are being placed on every light pole, northbound and southbound, on the Madeira Beach side of the bridge.
City Manager Shane Crawford also believes the signs will be an effective way to promote the city.
“People will see some ‘splash’ from us out here with these banners,” he said. “They are going to put us on the map, to label us a little bit.”