Mayor says “Come As You Are” won’t go away

“Come as you are” is here to stay.

So said Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson in his remarks before the City Council at their meeting Wednesday night.

Noting that he has received “e-mail after email about the sign that reads “Welcome to Aberdeen, Come As You Are” at the east entrance to the city, Simpson aimed at putting controversy about the sign’s possible removal to rest.

“Come As You Are,” a lyric from one of famous grunge rocker and native son Kurt Cobain’s songs, was added to the older welcome sign in 2005, to the consternation of some and the applause of many. Troubled by addiction and depression, Cobain commited suicide in 1994.

Three older signs on Highway 12, including the welcome sign, are to be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Planning Commission. The area is tough to mow and the signs are about 20 years old. The city, which must consult state Department of Transportation authorities about any changes, is considering building a culvert, among other options, to make it easier to maintain the area.

At the council meeting, the mayor said he has a “list of 314 people from across the U. S. I had a lady from Hannibal, Missouri, who has never been to Aberdeen, but she wants us to make sure we keep the sign.

“So, as far as I am concerned, at this point in time the ‘Come As You Are’ is not leaving. So let’s put it to rest, let’s get it over with, let’s get it forgotten. … I have (gone) places all through town, people (say) ‘don’t get rid of that sign, don’t get rid of that sign.’

“You know it started out with an innocent little thing about moving the sign someplace else and all of a sudden we’re gonna … anyway … it is NOT being taken down. There.”

The signs will be considered by the Planning Commission subcommittee this summer.

The second sign bears several smaller emblems for city civic groups; the third announces city events. They are not uniform and may be replaced with one or more newer signs.