Turley reports on a strange case from Fairfax County, Virginia, where a church was recently reprimanded by the authorities for—get this—changing the message on their electric sign more than twice in one day:
The Church of the Good Shepherd has been informed that it may have to remove its sign after violating country [sic] rules that prohibit electronic signs from being changed more than twice a day unless they are giving weather reports. An inspector informed the church that it had posted three different messages in one day and thus stood in violation of the law.
This strikes me as one of those “quality of life” laws that was passed at one point to eliminate a nuisance which has long since passed into obscurity, yet remains on the books to the detriment of individuals to whom I imagine the crafters of the law did not intend it to apply. Turley’s thoughts mirror my own:
… I am not sure what surprises me more: that the county has a law regulating how many messages can appear on electronic signs or that it has someone who actually monitors the messages on electronic signs. Given the host of underfunded school and county programs, I think we have isolated a position that can be freed up for more productive use.