Friday, March 7, 2014
Gov. Paul LePage, left, unveils the new "Open for Business" sign beneath the "Welcome to Maine" sign along Interstate 95 near the New Hampshire border in Kittery.
After Gov. Paul LePage last week installed an "Open for Business" sign on I-95 in Kittery, some people wondered if the sign was installed on the right border. After all, the sign was manufactured by a company in Alabama.
Cynthia Rosen, the Knox County tea party activist who led a fundraising effort to buy the sign, said she initially looked for a Maine business to make the sign but was unable to find one that made signs that could meet Maine Department of Transportation specifications.
So she ordered the sign from Rice Signs of Auburn, Ala. The company makes signs for highway departments around the nation.
Rosen, who was the Knox County campaign coordinator for LePage, said she and her husband, John Stewart, raised the money for the 8-foot by 4-foot sign, which cost $1,376.73, including shipping.
The couple has $310 left over, which they plan to use to reimburse the state for installation costs.
Rosen said there may be a Maine company that can manufacture a highway sign, but she had to work quickly to get the sign ready for LePage's inaugural events.
"We couldn't locate a company in the state, and time was ticking," she said.
She and Stewart decided more than a year ago to raise money for the sign after hearing LePage say at a forum that he would erect such a sign in Kittery if elected.
She said the sign is an important symbol for the changes LePage plans to bring to state government.
"It just seemed like a tangible expression of what the change might mean," she said.