The Sandbox Episode 1: The Five Million Dollar Sign

Bryan Dubois
Mar 23, 2010


Kick back and enjoy the first installment of The Sandbox!

 [Fade in from black]

[Cut to city commission planning session, in progress]

Mr. Stahl:  Let's continue discussing our goals and objectives for this year...Mr. Kline do you have anything you'd like to add?

Mr. Kline:  Yes...just a few brief topics...I have this idea that I've been thinking on for a really long time.  It would take alot of work, but if we do it right, it'll be worth the effort and money...

Mr. Stahl:  We're all ears, Mr. Kline.

Mr. Kline:  I'm thinking that we need direction. where to go...if you go to any major city in the United States they all have one thing in common:  They have a way to tell people where their biggest attractions are.  What I'm getting at is that I think we need a few more street signs.

Mr. Stahl:  Now we're getting somewhere!  Don't mind me saying this, but this is exactly why we hired you, Mr. Kline.  Your outsider perspective is a great addition to the team we've built here in Sandusky.  This is a great item to add to our goals and objectives for the year.

Mr. Kline:  Thank you. 

Mr. Stahl:  Before we go any further though, we should talk about cost.  How much will it cost versus how much is it worth?

Mr. Kline:  Well, that's a tricky subject.  The sign will cost a little bit of money.  And right now since we're in a recession, we've learned from market studies - a couple of which cost the city about $40,000 and $30,000 respectively - that, that, that, people aren't really fond of spending money.  But if we tell them that the sign will make money, then people will not only like us - but they will think that we're economic development geniuses!

Mr. Stahl:  So we need to come up with a way to sell the idea to the public, is that what you're saying?

Mr. Kline:  Exactly. So we're going to tell them that the signs will actually make money for the city of Sandusky.

Mr. Stahl:  That's brilliant!  How much should we tell them?

Mr. Kline:  Well we should come up with a number that isn't too outlandish.  Something believable.

Unknown audience member:  You've always been an expert at that.

Mr. Stahl:  [to audience member]  Sir, this is a commission work session.  There will be no audience participation...

Julie Farrar:  One billion dollars!

Mr. Kline:  [Sheepishly] No, Julie.  That's not really believable.

Mrs. Farrar:  Okay.  How about one million dollars?

Mr. Kline:  That's a little better.  But uh...uh... the number we had in mind was five million dollars.

Mr. Stahl:  Any particular reason?

Mr. Kline:  No, not really. I pulled it out of my arse.

Mr. Stahl:  Okay, sounds good to me.

Bob Warner:  Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Stahl:  Mr. Warner.

Bob Warner:  there's no way in hell I'm going to vote for the city to pay five million dollars for a damn street sign.  You're gonna run this city into the ground!

Mr. Kaman:  No, Bob.  He's talking about the amount of money we'll agree to tell city residents that the sign will bring in.

Mr. Warner:  Well I understand that - but there's no way I'm going to pay that kind of money for a damn sign.

[Long pause]

Mr. Fuqua:  Can we all just cut out the snide comments?  Ya know?  I'm just guilty as all of you, I know, but it's not good.  We need to try to get along and stop with the childish comments.  Okay?

[Long pause]

Mr. Kaman:  Mr. Chairman, I'm all for development, but I don't think it's right to mislead the public on this...

Mr. Kline:  [Interrupts]  We''re not misleading the public, we're...uh....we're showing our vision.  Our vision is that this city needs vision....street signs....something to tell people where to go.

Mr. Stahl:  I agree.  Mr. Kline has my full support.  If you lose faith in your city manager - that's it.  He's done.  So I think It's a great idea.  Any discussion from this side of the table?

Mr. Waddington:  Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Stahl:  Mr. Waddington.

Mr. Waddington:  I'm all for street signs, but are we going to have any discussion on what goes on the street signs?  I'm just concerned we're going to advertise something that doesn't actually exist.  The Marina District for example.  I don't think that looks good for the city.

Mr. Stahl:  I've already discussed this with Mr. Murray.  He says that the Marina District should go on the signs.  It's part of our destiny as a city and I'm of the mind - and I think the rest of you guys [motions toward Stahlin Voting Bloc members] agree with me...we must do this for the children.   I think we can all trust Mr. Kline to put appropriate things on the street signs, can't we?


Julie Farrar:  Mr. Chairman

Mr. Stahl:  Mrs. Fuqua.  I mean Mr. Farrar.  I'm sorry.  Mrs. Farrar, excuse me.


Julie Farrar:  I just want to make sure I'm understanding this, okay?  And I'm sorry...if....I just want to make sure....[motions with hand towards Mr. Kline]  Because according to my calculator, if we put up one sign and it brings in five million dollars, wouldn't it be a good idea if we put up two signs so we can make ten million dollars?  Or better yet - why not just put up three signs so we can make fifteen million dollars?

Mr. Stahl:  With these signs, the sky is the limit.  Ms. Brown, just so we know where everyone stands, let's call an unofficial roll.

Ms. Brown:  Okay, this is an unofficial roll for whether or not we should allow Mr. Kline to put up signs around town and tell city residents that the signs will bring in $5 million dollars a year. 

Mr. Stahl:  Okay, go ahead.

Ms. Brown:  Mr. Kaman.

Mr. Kaman:  No.

Ms. Brown:  Mr. Waddington.

Mr. Waddington:  No.

Ms. Brown:  Stahlin Voting Bloc.

Mr. Stahl:  We all vote yes.

Ms. Brown:  The 'ayes' have it.

Stay tuned for another episode coming soon...



Really, I'm very happy to have a well-marked city and I think it is helpful to people unfamiliar with the area... But seriously, how does anyone think that fact alone will bring in $$, let alone $5M?

I mean, last I looked travelocity didn't rate tourist destinations according to the quality of their street signs...


This has to be the funniest thing I have seen.  I love it!!  LOL  LOL  LOL  Thanks for the Sandbox!