Re Lucile Wheaton's letter May 5: I, too, think the Fresno city buses are ugly, ugly, ugly. In February 2006, I wrote to the city's Department of Transportation and expressed exactly that. I received a letter back from John Downs, planning manager, who stated that the content and design of advertisement displays, they believe, are maintaining "community standards as established through the exterior bus advertising contract approved by City Council." He also stated that "the exterior bus advertising program does allow [Fresno Area Express] to augment our revenues and to provide more and better service than would otherwise be possible."
In other words, it's about money. That's fine and dandy, but the Vista Media Group, which owns the contract, needs to find out a little more about Fresno's "community standards." I sincerely doubt that anyone here would think that the buses represent a successful city; they are poorly painted, unprofessional and tacky. They reflect badly on our city. They are embarrassing. They are tacky.