Fifty years ago, Hollywood released a Western movie titled “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance?”
Last Thursday, the Seymour Board of Aldermen decided to spend nearly $4,000 on their own valance.
These are actual valances.
Like the ones seen on a curtain rod.
In the city’s case, they will be mounted on the new awnings recently installed at Seymour City Hall, which South Ward Alderman Nadine Crisp called “the worst-looking things I’ve ever seen” at last Thursday’s regular meeting of the aldermen.
“I can’t believe we paid for those,” Crisp said.
Her statement brought a question from fellow South Ward Alderman Dan Wehmer.
“Is it true that you went to the workers (from Welhener H.B. Wall of Springfield) while they were installing them and told them that their work was terrible?” he asked.
“You know I did,” Crisp responded.
“I tried to get you to go up there with me, but you were a coward and wouldn’t go.” Wehmer just shook his head.
“Don’t shake your head at me,” Crisp said. “My, gosh, those things look terrible, and you know it.”
Prior to the meeting, Crisp asked for an agenda item on the subject for the aldermen to discuss.
At the onset of the issue coming up for discussion, she gave each alderman and Mayor Richard Vinson a handout that showed her proposed solution.
“I’m not the only one who can make handouts,” she told Wehmer, who sits next to her at the city meetings.
“I read yours, so you’d better read mine.”
In her handout, Crisp asked that maroon valances measuring 10 inches be added to the front and sides of the new awnings. On the valances, she suggested 6-inch white lettering that explaining the use of each entrance.
Cost of the valances?
“I just don’t want to spend any more money on this,” North Ward Alderman Jim Ashley said. “We’re already in for more than $15,000. If we do this, we are going to be at almost $20,000.”
“Well, we can’t let them stay like they are,” Crisp responded. “It’s embarrassing.”
Aldermen debated the subject for about 10 minutes.
Crisp said the aldermen had “no knowledge about the design” of the awnings before they were ordered by former City Administrator Sam Burt.
“I don’t think that’s right, Nadine,” Ashley said.
“Sam showed us the drawings. We knew about the design. Blaming him on this isn’t fair.”
“I never saw any pictures of what we’ve got up there now,” Crisp responded.
“I would’ve never voted for that.”
“Okay, Nadine,” Ashley said.
Wehmer said he wasn’t concerned about the appearance of the awnings.
“They grow on you,” he said. “But I do like the idea of adding the valances for informational purposes. I think it’s good that we let the public know the use of each entrance. Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen many people try to use the wrong door here. We’ve got five doors.”
Wehmer then made a motion.
“You never vote for my ideas, Nadine, but I’ll vote for yours,” he said. “I’ll make a motion that we buy the valances. I think they will serve a purpose.”
The motion was seconded, and the issue unanimously passed in a 4-0 vote.