"When I pass Millcreek Common I almost always see a digital ad promoting Reagan Outdoor Advertising. It makes me wonder if their competition is upset that these ads make it look like Millcreek is endorsing Reagan. I know that I am." -Patrick

"Enough with the digital billboard lies already! We support food trucks but not unethical mayors and city officials. We are done with Millcreek Common. People show up for SOHO Food Park even without digital billboard ads. Imagine that." -Ashley

"Hey Millcreek and Venture Out staff: If you think advertising your events using social media, word of mouth, newsletters and the one huge distracting electronic billboard you already have is STILL not enough, maybe you should rethink your events before insisting city council sign off on a second Millcreek Common electronic billboard. Asking to install a known safety hazard in order to better promote your events is short-sighted and irresponsible. Please step outside of your echo chamber and get back to your mission of serving the people of Millcreek." - Nancy

"No more digital billboards in Millcreek! We were promised to be stuck with just one! The swap deal is a sham. The other billboards are terrible too but soon the outdoor billboard industry will not be able to give away ad space on most of them. I agree we should hold off." -Roger

"I see that in 2021 Silvestrini's people tried to convince us that giving an outdoor advertiser 3 electronic billboards with a combined 1,728 square feet of advertising space in exchange for them taking down just 2,247 square feet combined of hand selected static billboards was a great deal for Millcreek. It would be the definition of insanity to trust these same people to ever negotiate another electronic billboard deal for us. Don't believe their numbers. One square foot of a coveted and otherwise outlawed electronic billboard is worth more than its weight in gold to an outdoor advertiser these days, not three or four square feet of one of their old billboards." -Ben

"As was stated the last time Billboards were discussed, the overwhelming majority of residents in Millcreek do not want them, and the ones that are already here are regrettably allowed because of legal issues. That has not changed. The one on 33rd was allowed to be exchanged with a digital because it would be smaller. That one is brighter and more attention grabbing, which is precisely its purpose. The other two Billboards would do the same. Billboards are obnoxious and a dying method of advertising. They only receive a temporary lift in attention-getting because they change the screen often. This attention grabbing is exactly the purpose, and also the hazard. Drivers are distracted. Safety is a concern along 33rd and Highland Drive anyway. Billboards are also unsightly, cluttering the view of an otherwise calming atmosphere of the neighborhood. It would be overwhelmingly better to keep the existing Billboards and let them continue to fade into the background. There is one option that was discussed last time that MAY be worth looking at this time as an alternative. Removing the current Billboards and allowing a single Digital Billboard in another location. Depending on the proposed location this could be considered. If no agreement can be met, I would condemn the ground the current Billboards are on as health and safety hazards and remove them. Thank you." -Brian S.

"City of Millcreek: STOP, LOOK & LISTEN to your residents & tax payers! I oppose additional digital signs near Millcreek Commons. I think they are a safety hazard/ distraction to drivers and detract from the natural beauty of our community. Everywhere I look, more apartments, condos, etc, are going up & causing more congestion." -Mary

"Electronic billboards are now the new standard for the industry. What is the harm of waiting things out a bit to see how this new standard impacts the viability and value of Millcreek's 51 existing billboards? Millcreek staff have been duped into thinking they are achieving some city benefit. They are playing into the hands of the billboard industry and Reagan Outdoor Advertising. They do not possess the required steps to dance with the devil. Currently, an electronic billboard is easily more profitable than five static billboards, but there is little doubt it will be worth more than twice the number of static billboards in less than one short decade from now. We are witnessing the billboard industry adapting to new technology, but their purpose is not to achieve an altruistic benefit for Millcreek. The staff, and potentially the city council, are being bamboozled. One static billboard does not equate to some percentage of an electronic billboard. A used Chevrolet does not equal a proportion of a new Rolls Royce. While each has four wheels, they offer different riding experiences." -Bruce

"I disagree. There are no easy means of getting our ridiculous number of billboards reduced. If one digital billboard can replace 4 or 5 or more of our static billboards, we should consider negotiating. If you are happy with all the static billboards, some which only belong on a freeway (thank you Salt Lake County), then ok. But if you want to reduce the numbers that we have, digital billboards may be a way to accomplish that! -John**

**Editor's Note: The argument that the only feasible way to reduce the number of billboards is to “trade” of old billboards for new digital billboards is commonly made. But here is catch (besides the obvious public safety one), prior to the April 8, 2024 City Council vote, Millcreek top staff had already met with Reagan to come up with their 2024 proposal includes only a "3:1" exchange rate, which they claim is a sweet deal for Millcreek. And keep in mind, they are not talking about a 3:1 ration for billboard "faces", but square feet to square feet, which translates to less than 2 1/2 full-sized static billboards for every one newly constructed digital billboard saddled with a 40 year (i.e. essentially permanent) lease. Don't believe us? Click HERE for City Staff's July 2021 billboard swap proposal they initially claimed was a sweet deal for Millcreek and HERE for their second-bite-at-the-apple 2024 billboard swap proposal claiming getting rid of the equivalent square foot-wise of less than 2 1/2 full sized billboards for one digital billboard would be a bargain for Millcreek. Click HERE and HERE to read some of the emails between Millcreek City Manager and ROA Vice President Dewey Reagan discussing the meetings and "negotiations" they conducted in 2023 & 2024 (obtained through a GRAMA records request). For context, click HERE to see the details of a 2017 exchange deal in Florida and HERE to see a recent proposal made after the 2022 landmark SCOTUS case that emboldened cities and dramatically increased their bargaining power in static/digital exchange deals by upholding a city's right to ban digital billboards while still allowing local businesses to have electronic signs at their businesses.

"It is maddening to see these pictures of the Millcreek Common billboard advertisements! I have gone out of my way to avoid that street for a long time now because of all of the construction mess and blinding glare at night. I remember thinking Granite Credit Union ads were confusing before because they are not there. But now I see that having a Reagan sign on the billboard pole and big Millcreek Common lettering right under the ads sends the message that Millcreek is officially endorsing Reagan and any company Reagan gets paid the big bucks to advertise there. Reagan gets extra profits because the premium digital ad space it is selling comes with the bonus perk of Millcreek's implicit endorsement of the advertiser. Why isn't anyone asking how much a Reagan makes from each ad and how much it stands to make over the next four decades from this billboard before negotiating for two more? And is it really legal for a city like Millcreek to be doing this?" -Sonja

"Supporting even one more digital billboard at Millcreek Common that will there for at least 40 years supposedly to get rid of a few old billboards on PRIVATE PROPERTY that we know will be blank or gone in a few years anyway is complete nonsense. If you support the digital billboard plan, you are aiding the outdoor advertising industry and their paid advocates at the expense Millcreek's residents, public safety and reputation and literally placing the safety of its drivers, pedestrians and cyclists and visitors at risk whether you realize it or not. There are better ways to advertise city events, artfully mark the West & East entrances for Millcreek Common and to reduce the number of billboards without legalizing more digital billboards and allowing the city to negotiate yet another non-transparent deal with Reagan that doesn't take into account the safety and wishes of Millcreek's residents. -Bill

"One digital billboard is obviously more of a driver and pedestrian traffic safety hazard than one, two or even five non-digital billboards combined. That ends the debate. Millcreek’s digital billboard ban should not be lifted for Reagan, Jeff Silvestrini or anyone. Safety matters." -P.J.

"No more billboards in Millcreek please! Blight and safety are serious concerns." -Ian

"We must not allow anymore digital billboards because they are undeniably a safety hazard. But some cities are getting a ton of money for letting them in or getting rid of a bunch of old static ones in exchange because the billboard industry needs them to survive. Any councilperson who votes to approve more of them is literally stealing Millcreek’s resources and credibility and unethically giving them to Reagan and guilty of corruption if the exchange rate is not at least 6-1 . This is now the accepted minimum exchange rate. See for yourself. And I mean 6 static billboards and not the dishonest “square foot” math equivalent the city is trying to use for its so-called 3-1 exchange rate. Don’t be deceived by Reagan or their lawyers!"-Kris

"Mister Mayor - just stop this nonsense!" -Jack

"As a professional advertiser and marketing director I can attest to the inefficacy of billboard advertising. Their limited audience targeting, lack of interaction and attribution, short exposure time are just a few of the perils that have all but decimated the outdoor advertising industry. This is why the outdoor advertising industry cannot sustain itself without government partnerships and lobbying . . . The outdoor advertising industry is desperately trying to stay relevant by moving to more digital formats . . . Now the boring stuff… Safety. There are MANY studies showing the potential hazards of digital roadside billboards. Here’s one from the National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity & Management (2015) showing that 23% of crashes and near-crashes that occur in metropolitan environments are attributable to eyes off the forward roadway greater than two seconds. Nearly 80% of the crashes and 65% of near crashes were caused by distractions that made the driver look away for up to three seconds. - https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/36939 . . . I propose we let the static billboards stand where they are where they have become ubiquitous, irrelevant and invisible . . . Also worth mentioning, Millcreek City hasn't reached out to any other billboard companies with billboards in MIllcreek. At the last planning meeting, YESCO showed up and were upset that Millcreek City hadn't reached out to them or any other billboard holders to negotiate or ask for bids on trading static signs for digital ones. . . Digital billboards are the last-gasp attempt for billboards companions to remain relevant and there is an opportunity to negotiate aggressively; like 10:1 aggressively." -Mitchell

"It’s ridiculous to still be talking about more digital billboards when our city motto is CONNECTED BY NATURE. Of course having multiple digital billboards in our small one block city center will make that a joke. The one that is already there makes it enough of a joke as it is. Thanks for this site btw!" -Rachel

"Let’s do the math. 3 so-called “temporary” digital billboards on 1 block + 2 lawyers (mayor and mayor’s wife) who work for billboard company’s law firm = 1 corrupt city" -Pete

"Digital billboards are a known traffic safety hazard and a negative for the environment. I agree Millcreek is better off with letting static billboards hang around until they become obsoleted than with building brand new digital billboards guaranteed to still be around 40 years from now." -Paul

"A comment on billboards. The negative effect upon traffic safety of any type billboard (off of advertiser’s premises) is so obvious. Any billboard company obviously believes and intends that drivers will look at their billboard. Otherwise a billboard company would have nothing to sell to its customers. The billboard company obviously knows this implicitly and will therefore make its displays attractive. Therefore, a degree of driver distraction is a natural result. Furthermore, the rapid recycling of brightly colored digital billboard messages results in even more driver distraction. Obviously we should not want to make traffic on our city’s roads more unsafe by increasing the distraction of our drivers. Therefore instead of wanting more billboards, especially digital ones, we obviously should want fewer rather than more!" -Gary

"The billboard at Millcreek Common is worse than the nearby non-digitized billboards by a long shot. It gives me a headache at night and in the day it clearly displays the name Reagan so it looks like Millcreek is endorsing Reagan and everything they advertise. Thanks for letting me know I will only have to put up with the headaches and visual pollution “temporarily”, just until 2061. Just 37 more years to go! I agree allowing two more of these “temporary” billboards on that same block for the next 40 years would be uncalled for and unethical." -Megan

"Their explanations and the facts don’t add up. The deal seems fishy because it IS fishy. Shame on you Jeff Silvestrini and Reagan and shame on us if we don’t stop them." -Jen

"Thank you for this website! I oppose digital billboards and digital billboard swap out deals for safety reasons." -Elizabeth

"Why would we ever think to put three big electronic billboards on one city block? Why would we ever think to go to Reagan Advertising hat in hand for help to buy signs to welcome people to Millcreek Common when we can afford to buy our own? Millcreek Common should showcase the best of Millcreek and not whatever Reagan Advertising happens to be pedaling for their customers on big electronic billboards." -Jane S.

"No more billboards in Millcreek. I worry about our safety as residents and the aesthetics of our beautiful city." -Leslie

"Attention Mayor Silvestrini: We are not buying what you and your friend Dewey Reagan are selling. Digital billboards are unsafe driving distractions and have no place in Millcreek. We know it. You know it. It’s time to stop and move on." -Brooke T., District #1

"It’s baaaaaaaaack! The deal the mayor’s people and Reagan are trying to shove on us is pretty much the exact same deal they first tried to force on us back in 2021. It is obviously worse than the scaled back deal that was reached in 2021 after they were taken to task and they had to settle for just one digital billboard instead of the three digital billboards they had wanted to force on us. Back then the deal involved removing a billboard that was holding up construction at Millcreek Commons and the hold up was costing taxpayer’s money every day. Now in 2024 there is no billboard holding up construction but they are curiously still insisting on keeping the same 3-1 ratio billboard swap and offering no other benefits to Millcreek. They have some nerve to try this again as if 2021 never happened and we would not notice or care. They apparently think Millcreek is for sale and can be bought by the lowest bidder. This ridiculousness must be nipped in the bud right now once and for all." -Shawna, Bev Uipi's District (District #4)

"This is great for Reagan and Jeff Silvestrini’s pocketbook but bad for Millcreek. We need to fight this one." -Bruce

"The Mayor, City Manager and City Planner were all perfectly happy selling Millcreek out by giving Reagan Outdoor Signs a sweetheart deal in 2021 but could not go forward with their plan because they were called out on it. It is mind blowing that they feel they can just pick up the original corrupt deal and try to ram it through the Planning Commission and City Council a few years later as if they were never called out in the first place. Unbelievable!"-Doreen

"Thank you Millcreek planning commissioners for not rubber stamping the Reagan deal last night and for asking tough questions. The mayor’s team still hasn’t explained why they are so fixated on doing this deal with Reagan. I have my own suspicions, but want to hear them explain it themselves." -Sam (Editors note: the reference is to the Millcreek Planning Commission's February 28, 2024 meeting in which they voted to wait until they had more community input and alternative proposals before voting on the city's proposed new sign code that will (among other things) allow two more digital billboards at Millcreek City Center and the city's related proposal to enter into a 3:1 traditional billboad/digital billboard swap with Reagan Outdoor Advertising for their proposed 2 new digital billboards at Millcreek City Center)

"I think letting Reagan swap out 3 non digital billboards for 1 prime spot digital billboard will not blaze the trail for swapping out the rest of the non digital billboards left in Millcreek. It will lead to Reagan being able to dictate what other billboards they want to switch out but always on their terms. We will be left with old ugly non digital billboards and new ugly and unsafe digital billboards with Reagan still calling the shots and Millcreek still doing Reagan’s bidding. We need to get back to the drawing board on this one and leave Reagan and Reagan-connected Millcreek mayor and staff somewhere else." -Hillary L.

"The last thing we need is ugly billboards to distract the now chaotic driving situation with the increased apartment population. They should be banned completely!" -Jill

"Who thinks it is a good idea to install a digital billboard at Millcreek Common that switches out advertisements several times a minute and is specifically designed to capture the attention of drivers, pedestrians and bikers traveling along Highland Drive? Clearly, someone who either hasn’t considered the safety risks or who has never walked, biked or driven to Millcreek Common or Harmons on that stretch of busy road." - Nicole, resident of Woodland/Mount Aire neighborhood, mother of grade school student, and bike enthusiast/commuter

"There are already too many distractions from commercial businesses on our roadways. More signage, especially flashing and changing signage contributes to distracted driving. Residents in communities adjacent to Millcreek's City Center are most at risk. Please join the movement to resist further billboard pollution." -Betty, resident of Woodland/Mount Aire neighborhood for many decades and "neighborhood grandma" to many

"I am upset with the city's plan to put up two more Reagan digital billboards but even more upset the city thinks it can just steamroll the process and its resident to get it passed. I understand the city alerted the community councils about their plan to lift the digital billboard ban to allow for these two proposed new digital billboards at the end of January of this year. That was less than six weeks ago and two weeks before they were expected to give their recommendations at their February council meetings. Now I see the city is expecting the planning commissioners to give their recommendations on February 28th and then ask City Council to vote on this important issues as early as March. It seems to me like the city is just trying to go through the hoops ASAP before the public and experts have a chance to call them out on it. They need to slow way down and give everyone a chance to be heard and then actually consider what they are saying." -Lydia

"I'd rather we keep 3 or even 10 outdated non-moving billboards over a flashy headache-inducing digital billboard any day of the week. I bet Reagan's outdated billboards will not be worth their upkeep and be gone in 10 years. Don't fall for it." -Dave, Millcreek resident

"This is not okay, Millcreek! We fought the digital billboard battle in 2021 and won. Okay, well maybe we didn't exactly win but at least we ended up with one instead of three visually polluting digital billboards. Now all of a sudden there is a big rush to push for the same two billboards that were soundly and vocally rejected back in 2021. WHY? Millcreek, you can do better. Please do." -Ali, Millcreek resident, District #4

Mayor Silvestrini has ties to Reagan Outdoor Advertising which makes this a conflict of interest and yet he lies to the public about it. This is not a safe place to be having digital billboards and Jeff knows it. He’s only concerned with his own bottom line! -Joni, Millcreek resident, District #3


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