Case of the missing signs
Sound Off for July 9, 2013:
"I would like to know what happened to the 'Health, history and horses' sign that used to be on Church Street as you’re coming in to Saratoga from the west. It just disappeared about two months ago and I’ve called the police, city hall, and even Channel Six. Nobody knows. That sign belongs in Saratoga.Today's Sound Off caller isn't the only one who has been wondering about where the "Health, History and Horses" signs that have disappeared from some of the at the entryways to the city have gone to.
Sound off is an opportunity for readers to voice opinions anonymously. Callers have 30 seconds to sound off. Call 583-8713."
I've had a couple of inquiries as well about those on Church Street, Geyser and a couple others that have slipped my mind.
Well, mystery solved. DPW stole them!
To be fair, the signs they took down were pretty well dilapidated. The one pictured from Geyser Road, for example, has a baseball-sized hole in it. Others, Public Works Commissioner Anthony "Skip" Scirocco said, were rotting out.
"That was more embarrassing than not having a sign at all," he said, pointing to the hole (as pictured above). But he said the plywood material and cheap frames meant "they were never going to last for long."
Unlike the new signs, pictured here with Skip and City Artist "Extraordinaire" Philip Steffen.
They're made out of a composite aluminum with a honeycomb core and have 23 karat gold gilded lettering. They will hold up much better to the weather, as Steffen explains in these short videos.
The first is about why they chose new signs:
The second is about the reduction in maintenance. It also shows the flashy roses Steffen painted.
"The longevity of these signs will be two or three fold (what the wooden ones are)," Scirocco said. DPW will be phasing in the new signs as the older ones fall into disrepair. The cost is slightly more than the old signs, and also similar is the amount of time Steffen has to invest in each one.
"This is all hand-painted. It takes a long time," he said. But the signs should last years with only periodic touch-ups for the outlines of the letters, which are not gold.
So there you have it. Signs stolen by our own Department of Public Works.
Just remember this next time you call Channel Six, Sound Off caller.