Spring is here--the birds are chirping, I am sneezing, and there is the sweet smell of politics in the air.This week the campaign lawn signs for the upcoming City Council election (May 14, 2013) have popped up on lawns across the City. I always got a chuckle out of all the political signs being slightly crooked, it reminds me of the words of Herbert Hoover that "No public man can be just a little crooked."
|Citizens for Change|
|Coalition for Open Government|
The leaflets, the mailers, and the signs, they are all annoying--but how does the City feel about them?I guess on some level the City agrees that these signs may be a nuisance to the residents as the topic is addressed in the City Code. Chapter 175 of the City Code, referred to as the Zoning Ordinance and Map, was adopted on May 10, 2005. I would like to point you to Article 7.14 which dictates the rules surrounding the use of signs within the City limits. More specifically, let me point you to Section B-3-a of Article 7.14 which outlines the types of signs for which do not require an application for a sign permit. Within this section of the code, the eleventh, and final, exception (pictured below for your convenience) is made for election or political signs. These signs however must be placed on private property and cannot exceed twelve square feet in area.
Let's return to the signs at hand, those that are popping up across the City. Let's zoom out on the Coalition for Open Government sign pictured above.
The picture of the Coalition for Open Government sign was taken this afternoon at the intersection of Prospect Avenue, Hamilton Place, and Franklin Place (denoted on the below map in red).
The location of this sign is City, not private, property.
What to do about it?
Unfortunately, citizens cannot enforce the rules and remove the signs themselves. Just ask the Menendez volunteer who was arrested this fall for removing campaign signs on Route 17 (click here to view the police report). So in light of this, a message to a candidate running on the Coalition for Open Government team and who can see this sign from his front porch--do the public a service, walk over and remove that sign.