Mayor John Manchester says town leaders should take control of their image. A good way to do that is to craft a sign ordinance like the longstanding rule that’s helped market Lewisburg, West Virginia.

“Towns that don’t have enforceable sign ordinances have a clutter problem,” he said.

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Elsewhere in the Save Our Towns episode, leaders in Marion, Virginia, refused to solve a parking problem by razing a historic building. Instead, the building is now filled with lively activities that help preserve the town’s musical and cultural heritage.

In the segment called Small Town, Big Number, Ann Brown compares Virginia and four surrounding states to provide context to trends in economic development. Catherine Feerick of the Appalachian Regional Commission explains why turning to federal agencies for help can produce big payoffs. The episode closes with three questions for Radford Mayor David Horton.

Save Our Towns is produced by Outreach and International Affairs. The award-winning program speaks to small-town mayors and town managers throughout Appalachia with a mission to guide and inspire those who are working to build strong communities.