A group of families are promoting the Petaluma Patriots Military Banner program, which seeks permission to hang large banners honoring active-duty military personnel from streetlights along East Washington Street. Cities such as Windsor and Rohnert Park have implemented a similar program as a way to honor local servicemen and women, but Petaluma would the approval of the city council to move forward with the program. Some city staff and community members have questioned whether changing the existing sign ordinance would open the flood gates, allowing myriad groups to post signs related to their preferred cause. A slight majority of those who took part in this week’s online poll were in favor of the proposal, but others worried the move would bring clutter to city streets. Here were some of the comments:

“There are already banners for youth sports or community events. We all suffer through a zillion election campaign posters every voting season. And every weekend we see real estate open house and garage sale signs. Why not support our local military with a banner? Just make it a condition that the banner comes down when they return home safely.”

“There are already rules in place about hanging banners. Everyone should just follow them.”

“There’s no need. There is already a process that allows banners. If it meets the criteria then go ahead. If they want a permanent monopoly on public property then that’s another issue as there are many other worthy groups.”

“People should be able to hang banners to honor active-duty military. How is this even an issue in a Purple Heart City?”

“Petaluma is full of people that do great things for our community and country. Most are not doing it for recognition. They do it because they want to serve and make a positive difference, not to get their picture on a light pole.”

“I was active duty for four years, and have been a resident of Petaluma for 26 years, and feel the effort should be put out for not only active duty, but the veterans as well.”

“How could you not be in favor of this ? Too many people take this country’s freedoms for granted. This would be a wonderful way to thank those fighting for our freedom.”

“Beats the heck out of the taggers.”

“The city does not enforce a sign ordinance it already has so why draw the line now? There are banners on city poles on North McDowell and Sonoma Mountain Parkway.”