The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 29, 2013

Urban Meyer signs swiped at city limits

By SHELLEY TERRY
Staff Writer

ASHTABULA — There is a good chance Urban Meyer signs are hanging in bedrooms and garages in the area.

It’s not clear whether fans of the head football coach of Ohio State University Buckeyes are stealing them or selling them, but city officials say they are missing.

Urban Meyer grew up in Ashtabula and the fire-engine red signs with white letters reading, “Home of Urban Meyer,” were placed at various entrances to the city in January.

Today, while the posts remain in place, the signs at Route 84 and Jefferson Road, and on State Road at East 42nd Street are gone.

The signs started to disappear almost as soon as they went up and the city doesn’t have the money to keep replacing them, said Dom Iarocci, superintendent of public services.

City Manager Jim Timonere said it’s unfortunate.

“We tried to do something nice for the community and to bring positive recognition (to Ashtabula),” he said. “They were designed by Chamber of Commerce President Jessica Forsythe. She’s a graphic artist and came up with the design and we really liked it.”

The signs cost about $84 each, Timonere said.

Meyer won two Bowl Championship Series honors while head coach of the University of Florida.

While the signs state Ashtabula is his home town, he was actually born in Toledo, but he grew up here and graduated from St. John High School.

He was first head coach at Bowling Green University in 2001 before moving to the University of Utah, then tackling the University of Florida.

Timonere said the city got the signs from the same firm it gets all its traffic signs. Public Works erected them in all areas where there were previously corporate limits signs.

“We bought eight and had two extras,” he said. “The signs gave Coach Meyer the respect he deserves from his home town.”

Meyer frequently returns to the city, most recently speaking at the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club banquet in December.