County aims to limit campaign sign issues

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2007

With plans to send advisory letters to candidates, supervisorsMonday took a proactive stance to avoid safety hazards posed bypolitical signs on county road rights of way.

“We have an ordinance that prohibits it for the obvious reasonthat they block the view (of drivers) and interferes with the roadcrews in their performance of their duty,” said County Attorney BobAllen.

However, that has not prevented some problems in the past whenpolitical candidates would place signs at busy intersections in thecounty in an effort to promote their campaigns.

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“There’s not many out there now, but there will be,” saidChancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop. “They’re just kind of sprinkled outthere right now.”

Ronnie Durr, the county’s litter control coordinator, broughtthe subject to the board’s attention. He was asking for the board’sguidance on how to remove the signs.

“I just don’t want to cause any problems for anyone running foroffice,” he said, “but the litter it creates will make a realnightmare out there for us trying to pick it up.”

What often happens, Durr said, is weather or other factors willeventually knock down the sign and road crews will run them over,scattering tiny pieces of the sign in a wide area. A litter crew isthen needed to pick up the scraps.

Despite Durr’s concerns, the board said it was more worriedabout the safety hazards posed by the signs.

The board agreed to send a letter to all candidates urging themto remove any signs that may already be placed in county roadrights of ways and to abstain from placing them there during thecampaign.

Following a two-week amnesty period, which began Monday, thesigns will be removed by the county.

The board did not resolve whether the removed signs would bediscarded and stored for the candidate to retrieve.