Signs Point To Merchant-City Showdown

By Maureen O'Brien

City Council members are bracing themselves for an emotion-fueled evening at the next meeting on Tuesday. At issue is the long-standing debate over the city’s enforcement — or lack thereof — of the merchandise display laws that have been on the books for years. The topic, which has been on the City Council’s agenda for the past several sessions, threatens to turn into a bit of a brouhaha at Tuesday’s gathering as a result of the sudden issuing of several unexpected official “notices of violation” to local retailers last week, mainly along the Arcade, for such infractions as having a sign outside a shop or a small table or rack of goods on display.  Sources say proponents on both sides of the issue have polarized and are planning to attend the Tuesday meeting “en masse” to express their opinions.  If so, they will be allowed to do so at the beginning of the meeting during the open microphone “Public Communication” segment of the session, during which each speaker will have

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