The Thousand Oaks City Council on Tuesday will consider spending $165,000 on a billboard-sized electronic marquee to advertise upcoming events at the Civic Arts Plaza.
As proposed, the 240-square-foot marquee would stand on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, alerting drivers to theatrical performances or city meetings at the Civic Arts Plaza, which is scheduled to open next fall.
The Civic Theaters Commission, a council-appointed group responsible for policy recommendations, endorsed the large sign on a 6-1 vote--with the provision that the electronic messages remain in place for days at a time and not flash every few seconds.
But already, several council members have expressed concern that the billboard might be too big. Mayor Elois Zeanah, for one, has argued repeatedly that the city should not break its own laws by installing oversize signs.
Councilman Frank Schillo said he wonders if such a bulky marquee is necessary, especially since motorists on the boulevard usually drive slowly enough to read much smaller signs.
Despite his reservations, however, Schillo said he liked the sign's design and approved of the electronic reader board. Opting for a cheaper but more old-fashioned marquee with manually changed letters, he said, would "take us back to a 1950s football field look."
The council has scheduled its debate on the marquee after its 7:30 p.m. public hearings.