Bill Concerning Political Signage Discussed at City Council Meeting

DUBOIS – Amended Council Bill 1839 resurfaced in the wake of citizens asking the City Council of DuBois questions regarding signage after the recent elections.

Council Bill 1839 was given a first reading as amended, but was never brought back for a second reading.  The bill was originally amended to lessen restrictions on advertising for yard and garage sales.  In researching answers for the questions, City Solicitor Toni Cherry found that the bill was never rejected or fully adopted and recommended completing the process.

The intent of the bill is to clarify vague language in previous ordinances on what signs and where they could be placed, namely temporary political signs.  The goal of Council Bill 1839 was to clarify the city’s historical intent.  No signs, except for traffic and specially permitted signs, are allowed to be posted on city owned or maintained properties and right-of-ways.

When asked if this included the right-of-ways in front of homes, the answer was yes.  Signs should be back in the yard.  Cherry added to that, however.

“I don’t think it is the intent for [the police] to go around with a measuring tape and measure from the center of the roadway,” said Cherry.

The main target of the ordinance and enforcement will be in sections of land that are clearly city property.  The ordinance also requires temporary political signs to be taken down within seven days of election.

“I think the reason this became an issue was when people were placing signs and weren’t maintaining them,” explained Cherry.

John Balliet, a public attendee of the meeting, asked about the placement of signs on city property used as polling stations on election day.  Balliet brought with him a sign posted at polling stations stating that signs were banned within ten feet of the polling station door.  To him that meant that signs would be allowed beyond 10 feet.

It was pointed out that the property is only leased to be used for polling.  Any signs at polling stations on city property on election day would technically be a violation, but City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio and Cherry admitted signs would likely pop up anyways.

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