Wade Bales was questioned by Council for more than 45 minutes about the benches. Questions were raised about the insurance liability to the city. In the opinion of Mayor Dunne and 2nd Ward Councilmember Charlotte Gordon, the benches could be redesigned into a pole. This would provide directions to focal points throughout the city and would also allow for a private sector advertisement.
Courtesy Advertising was established over 44 years ago by the late Rev. Fred Bales. Rev. Bales passed away on January 12, 2021. According to Wade Bales (the grandson of Fred Bales, who currently runs the business), Portsmouth has 42 benches, of which 75% are located on private property and not city property. The company also has benches in Pike and Ross Counties.
Mayor Dunne said, “I think if you ask the majority of people in Portsmouth, they would support what you do.” He further emphasized the fact that the “medium in which you do it” is open to further discussion.
A group of more than a dozen people attended to support the Bales family. Wade Bales stated in his closing remarks that he wants to honor his grandfather and carry on his legacy of providing small businesses with a means to advertise and grow.
Although the issue is not on the City Manager’s Meeting Agenda for this Monday, Council did indicate the discussion would continue.
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