November 28, 2014

Mostly cloudy

‘Amherst Sandstone Capital of the World’ sign being relocated

Amherst Mayor David Taylor doesn't want to return this "Amherst: Sandstone Capital of the World" sign in front of City Hall. COURTESY PHOTO

Amherst Mayor David Taylor doesn’t want to return this “Amherst: Sandstone Capital of the World” sign in front of City Hall. COURTESY PHOTO

AMHERST – An ongoing debate over a sign — which has been both an historical marker and a recent point of contention — reached a turning point this week.

In a meeting with “Save Our Sign” activists Joan Rosenbusch and Matt Nahorn, Amherst Mayor David Taylor said that he would not return the “Amherst Sandstone Capital of the World” sign to its longstanding place in front of City Hall.

“There’s a beautiful view of City Hall without the obstruction (of the sign),’’ Taylor said. “There are two signs in front of City Hall about Amherst being the sandstone capital of the world now.”

Taylor said he would be happy to have the sign moved to another locale in the city.

The sign, which was taken down to make way for road construction in January 2012, stood at the corner of Milan Avenue and Main Street since 1915, according to Rosenbusch, a genealogist who researches the history of Amherst.

When the sign was taken down initially, Rosenbusch said, she understood that it was necessary to do because of the construction. However, when a year went by and the sign wasn’t returned, she got worried.

“We really thought it was going to be a simple thing,” she said.

Rosenbusch and other members of the community began attending Council meetings, talking to the mayor and holding vigils while waiting to hear a final decision about whether the sign would be put back.

“We didn’t want to cause any trouble,” Rosenbusch said.

However, when no word came, Rosenbusch and Nahorn met with the Taylor on Monday who told them that he would be open to moving the sign but would not put it back in front of City Hall.

That wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

“It means a lot to a lot of people,” Rosenbusch said. “Would the Statue of Liberty look the same if it were in Manhattan?”

Following the mayor’s decision, Rosenbusch and other members of “Save Our Sign,” will continue to talk to supporters and protest the decision to keep the sign from City Hall. However, Rosenbusch is concerned that Taylor won’t change his mind.

“I think he’s made a decision he’s not going to back down on,” she said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

  • TheOriginalFactChecker

    Good decision by the Mayor.

    • Charlie Marty

      Why is it a good decision by the mayor?

      • TheOriginalFactChecker

        I’ve come to several Amherst Restaurants. The city looks great with all the downtown telephone wires and poles down. The view approaching City Hall when entering is just like a postcard. Why clutter up the view with an old sign? Do those that want to go back in time also want to put up the telephone poles and wires?

        • colmwn

          we are not asking to put utility poles and wires back up, simply the sign on two metal poles that resemble the new light poles we have downtown – simple and tasteful while at the same time continuing to emulate our town’s rich history to those passing by in their cars

        • Ray Venn

          Hmmm…why clutter up employers with “old” unions?

          Do you want to “go back in time”?

          • TheOriginalFactChecker

            What does that have to do with the sign?

          • Pete

            Ray, are you that stupid to compare this article to unions?

          • Ray Venn

            Pete, my comment was directed at Fact Chucker there and is COMPLETELY relevant if you’ve followed his nonsense for any amount of time.

            But let me explain…

            Years and years ago when American workers were truly being abused by employers on a grand scale we NEEDED unions. We needed a tool to fight the abuse, low pay and horrible working conditions.

            Jump ahead 50, 60, 70 years and with employment laws the way they are, the need for unions has dwindled and their existence is a proven detriment to employment, especially in manufacturing.

            So, using his position on unions in this matter, I just have to say to him why does he have a problem with an “old sign” when he CONSTANTLY supports an “old institution” in unions.

            It’s just a “poke” directed at him…

    • ralph zilch

      bad choise

  • colmwn

    We respectfully ask that the sign be replaced where it had been for nearly 100 years.

    • colmwn

      We ask not that ugly utility poles be used to hold it but rather metal poles such as those we have as lamp posts downtown – simple yet tastefully done. There are two other small “signs” in that area that denote Amherst as the Sandstone Center of the World, but they have not been there very long and are not readily visible to those passing by, especially in cars. Think about this – even in 1945 the Amherst sign was thought of as being “historic” – in an Amherst News-Times article from that time, the sign was temporarily taken down, and it was the Business Mens and Womens’ association that rallied to have it re-erected back at the 5-Points intersection because they stated that even then, it was a “historic” landmark. That was 68 years ago, folks.

  • Diane Szekely Papp

    Look at the picture. Does that look like it’s blocking anything? For generations citizens have been photographed with that sign that “highlights” our town hall. It’s part of our Amherst heritage, Mayor. Certainly there was a budget to return it as originally planned after construction. What happened to that?

  • Beth Lloyd Feltus

    Everything I’ve read indicates the citizens want the sign back in the original spot. Why such resistance from the mayor? I’ve also taken many pictures of the sign over the years…

  • Joan Rosenbusch

    The Town Hall and its property is not owned by the mayor. It is owned by the people of Amherst. He is supposed to be the custodian of our property. If a majority of the people want the sign back up where he took it down, shouldn’t that be his priority?

    • TheOriginalFactChecker

      Majority? I don’t see thousands of people clamoring for the sign.

  • John Reynolds

    Good decision, Mayor—the view looks much better without the sign.

    People of this town need to understand that this sign is not of much importance when compared to other issues in our town. Have you heard of all the drug usage, fighting, and other violence that takes place in our high school? Remember when a student at Nord Middle School was caught in possession of marijuana? Did we forget about all those house and car robberies that took place this year? What about the teachers with tenure that have their students watch movies all day? And those aren’t even half the issues in this town.

    It’s honorable to support a cause, whatever it may be. But, with all the problems in this world, does a sign really matter? Really? Think about it.

    Again, good call by the Mayor. Now lets go fix the important things in our town.

    • TheOriginalFactChecker

      Teachers showing movies all day?? Are you saying that the Administration and Board are not doing their job?

      • John Reynolds

        I wouldn’t go as far as to say that, and I apologize if my statement was misconstrued. However, it’s fairly obvious that many teachers within our school district are not top-notch, and only remain employed because of their tenure. The administrators and Board cannot remove them, only attempt to make them better.

        • johns62

          John you appear top be blowing a lot of smoke. how about some names and how is it ‘fairly obvious’ considering they’ve have an ‘excellent’ state rating for a number of years. Think someone got paid off?

          • John Reynolds

            You think an rating of “excellent” from the State of Ohio really means much? It doesn’t, my friend. Sure, Amherst is probably “excellent” when compared to inner city public schools, but that’s about where it ends—take a look at some of the private schools.

            Out of respect, I’m not going to list names.

          • johns62

            take a look at some of the charter schools too

          • John Reynolds

            I have, thanks.

    • ken

      john you forgot to mention all the staving kids in Africa! what does a sign have to do with crime and drugs? yes there are problems in Amherst but why add to it by making so many people upset? put the sign back!

      • John Reynolds

        Are you kidding?

        I was trying to express that there are many significant problems in our community—the sign is not one of them.

        If those campaigning to get the sign returned to its original spot put as much time and effort into fixing real community issues, they might be able to do some good for our town.

        • Bill

          Who said they aren’t trying to make a change about some of the issues you mentioned. Are you doing your part?

          • John Reynolds

            I’m not sure who said they aren’t trying to make a change. I didn’t say anything like that.

            And yes, Bill, I believe I am doing my part.

          • Bill

            “If those campaigning to get the sign returned to its original spot put as much time and effort into fixing real community issues, they might be able to do some good for our town”

            That statement is what I was referencing.

            Good for you if you are doing your part. This issue is a real simple one. No reason whatsoever that the sign could not be put back at 5 corners and be done so that it is aesthetically pleasing.

          • John Reynolds

            I totally agree with your last statement, Bill. Putting the sign back should have been a quick and easy thing.
            Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot of effort—so much more that I think the effort is futile.

    • Pete

      Hey John, I don’t see your name on any petition fighting to make Amherst drug free or one to hire additional police. I see, you are just an armchair whiner.

      • John Reynolds

        Hahah. Right, because signing a piece of paper will make people stop doing drugs.

        People signing a petition will do NOTHING to create lasting change in our town—action will. So you’re correct, my name isn’t on a paper that will “make Amherst drug free.” It never will be.

        Also, do you honestly believe hiring more police officers will help with the drug problems in the community? That’s downright idiotic. Law enforcement has trouble keeping drugs out of prisons!

        We need to educate and take action, not sign useless petitions.

        Thanks for the laugh, Pete.

    • johns62

      John, how about some name of these teachers.

      • John Reynolds

        I’d rather not.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Well folks………..why not a town vote………………that should take care of your problem………………

  • Joan Rosenbusch

    We don’t have thousands of people but we do have petitions with hundreds of people’ names. Many people will support a cause but do not like to speak out against adversaries who argue just for the sake of arguing. Too many times people find an issue like this one as a way to bring in matters that don’t even concern the original one.

    A good administrator should be able to handle many issues at one time. This is such an easy fix compared to the drugs, robberies, and other problems that need to be addressed. Why waste time and cause hard-feelings over something so simple to handle, yet important to the people in Amherst who volunteer to keep our history alive. The Sandstone Village and the Amherst Historical Society would be nothing without the volunteers who have put it together and keep it running.

    A town vote would cost more money than we have to offer so the best that we can do is to petition the people for their opinion on the matter.

    The mayor has done a lot for our city over the years so it would be a shame to think that this matter would become a part of his legacy.

    I am not afraid to sign my name as I believe this is important to a lot of people. It is interesting to see how many people hide behind a pseudonym when they have strong views on a subject.

  • HowRidiculous

    People are ridiculous. This sign is obviously not 100 years old, and in fact, looks like a cheap piece of crap. GET A LIFE.

    • colmwn

      ah, no, the sign is not 100 years old. Several signs over the years have been in that exact location of the years, but they have all been of very similar size, having the same motto and lettering on them. We are respectfully asking that the current sign be replaced where these signs have been for almost 100 years.

  • Sana Mason

    Was putting the sign back in the original cost of contruction plan. The sign will be 100 years old in 2015. Where does the Mayor want the sign since he does not want it in the original place.

    • colmwn

      He just does not want it on Town Hall property, which is what we are protesting.

  • sameolbull

    of seems like what is going on at Capitol Hill now. “No”, because I
    said so! Find a way , Mayor. Tone uo your problem solving skills!