John McLaughlin, a principal of Sullivan McLaughlin Companies, offered the Port Norfolk Civic Association $50,000 up front and 8.3 percent of net revenue for 20 years in exchange for permission to erect a billboard on his property next to the Southeast Expressway on Tuesday night. A relatively generous offer from a man well respected and trusted in the Port. But neighbors turned it down flat.
"I've been fighting for 30 years against billboards," said Ben Tankle, who helped start a civic group in the waterfront village in 1958. "The money is just them dangling the carrot, saying 'Come onâ€¦ I'll give you 50 grand.' Well I'm not going to sell my vote." Read more
Plans to erect a new billboard on the Southeastern Expressway stalled this week after Port Norfolk neighbors demanded more time to review the proposal, which would divert an unspecified percentage of profits back into the community in return for their acceptance. Read more
Over a dozen years ago, Dorchester's self-appointed billboard king, Joe Chaisson, and a handful of other diehards were fighting hard to stanch a flow of the giant roadside signs into the neighborhood. They managed to create some tough obstacles for advertisers, such as forcing property owners to get a city zoning variance if they want to add a new billboard next to federaly-assisted highways in the city, or modify an existing one.
Before that, neighborhoods had little say in it. Read more