Southwest Neighborhood files discrimination lawsuit against the City of Northfield for misspelt street signs

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In what is perceived as a social stigma in a two-college town, members of Northfield Southwest Neighborhood Association (NSWNA) have filed a discrimination law suit against the City of Northfield for it’s refusal to replace the four street signs in the neighborhood which have the words ‘W Nineth St’ on them in stead of ‘W Ninth St.’

img-46701Three of the neighbors in particular are perturbed because they are accomplished spellers, finishing 2nd as a Northfield Rotary team in the Friends of the Northfield Public Library Spelling  Bee in 2007. NSWNA neighbors Jeb Flufkin, Ricky Coldman, and Mitch ‘Penny’ Lane say that its not just the image of the neighborhood that’s at stake.

"Northfield is known for it’s educational values and the value of our homes in the neighborhood are likely to be negatively effected the longer that we have to live under this cloud of misspelling," said Flufkin. "My stomache just churns when I drive down the street every day and see those signs."

The group has retained the services of Northfield attorney Dave Hviscerate. "This is yet another sign of the incompetence at City Hall, and their intransigence is unconscionable. How hard or expensive could it be to change four signs? These people have suffered enough. Residents of 9th St. east of Division don’t have to put up with this embarrassment. Neither should those west of Division."

Ward 4 Councilor Jesse Anderson Black declined to comment on the suit but Public Works Director and City Engineer Jose Staphylo said it was with out merit. "We know their misspelt and we plan to fix them. But its not cheap. We tentatively have it in the department budget for 2014. Its not like people will be unable to navigate the neighborhood in the meantime."

Below are photos of the Ninth St. signs west of Division St.

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  1. I was SO confused when I saw that. I actually spent the next two minutes or so trying to figure out whether I might just have forgotten how to spell “ninth”.

    March 15, 2013
  2. Joe Stapf said:

    It has been a long cold winter…our guys at the Street Maintenance shop thought everybody could use a few laughs, especially after we saw the signs when they were delivered. I am surprised it took so long for Griff to notice them.

    Are you slipping a little Griff, or has the ice and snow kept you inside?

    Now the question to be answered is should we change out the signs when the replacements are delivered? Or maybe they should be auctioned off as a fund raiser for something–sort of like rare stamps or coins that have an error on them.

    March 16, 2013
  3. Susan Canon said:

    and maybe Griff needs a refresher on the difference between it’s and its? Or should we sue him for bad spelling, too?

    March 16, 2013
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Susan, I inserted six grammatical/spelling errors. Can you find the others?

    March 17, 2013
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    It’s Jose Staphylo!

    Joe, it took the eyes of Seebs and my daughter’s Facebook connections to wake me up to these signs.

    I love the idea of a fund raiser (or is it ‘fundrasier’?) but in the spirit of citizen engagement, I think it would be best to ask the residents of West 9th St. to weigh in. Might that be feasible?

    March 17, 2013
  6. Susan Canon said:

    yes, but at first I thought they were all in quotes from other people and you were pure…

    March 17, 2013
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld News: Northfield orders new street signs to fix misspellings

    “Nineth” Street in Northfield will soon be back to Ninth Street. City staff recently ordered new sign blades from the city’s vendor to fix the spelling errors at several intersections around town, according to Brian Erickson, assistant public works director and assistant city engineer. “I don’t know whose end it was on or how the misspelling happened,” Erickson said Thursday. “As soon as those come in, we’ll take care of those misspellings.” Erickson said that the streets and parks department received some comments about the errors and that the vendor will take care of the cost of the replacements.

    March 23, 2013

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