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Resolution to Sign Issue Is Urged

December 29, 1988

We think of rebuff as a negative response, but rebuff could also mean to shine again. A story was headlined: Monterey Park Council Rebuffs Mayor on Signs. (Times, Dec. 15.) I think the people of Monterey Park will shine again in their opposition to changing the ordinance dealing with how much English should be required on business signs.

The city's Design Review Board and Planning Commission both recommended no changes be made. The important sign issues should be color, size, uniformity and necessary controls to prevent signs from becoming a blurry mass of meaningless clutter. Both bodies dealt with these issues. The City Council didn't.

Changes in the English requirement may be imposed by the City Council, but such action will not change attitudes. It will not change the numbers or kinds of retail establishments in Monterey Park, and it will not cause a dramatic reversal in the community's shopping habits.

By putting the language issue on the ballot as a referendum, the door would open for another bitter political battle. Unfortunately, there are factions in our community that would relish another war.

If we allow this war to start, it will be bruising and it will be hurtful. One side will yell "bigot" and "racist" and point to the Constitution. The other side will extol the virtues of motherhood and apple pie and wrap itself in the flag. It will be like the second act of a bad play. There will be the expenditure of many dollars and much energy on a campaign and for what purpose? To further freedom? To promote civil rights? No! It would be for political gain.

Monterey Park is truly a unique community, and even though we get so much negative press, the great majority of us live in peace and harmony. Language on signs may be a big issue for a vocal few, but the No. 1 issue in Monterey Park is, and will continue to be, development. Nothing is as important as that.

Hopefully, the City Council will settle the sign issue without starting a war. Hopefully, they'll opt for peace in the New Year.

IRV GILMAN

Monterey Park

The San Gabriel Valley section of The Times welcomes all viewpoints from readers. Send letters to: San Gabriel Valley Editor, Los Angeles Times, 1333 Mayflower Ave., Suite 200, Monrovia 91016.

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