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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 1998

MISPLACED POLITICAL SIGNS CAUSE CONCERN

July 15, 1998

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The city and county monitor political signs as they begin popping up around the area.

It's not part of Lawrence City Manager Mike Wildgen's official job description, but he's been known to pull over and remove ``illegally'' placed political campaign signs.

Such signs are popping up across the area, making it time once again for a refresher course in Signage 101.

Like other types of signs, such as real estate signs, political posters need to find a home on private property. The city and county outlaw campaign signs on public right-of-way. And candidates must get permission to post signs on private property, Wildgen said.

Wildgen fielded a call Tuesday from someone at Kansas University asking about 3rd District Democratic candidate Dan Dana's blue and white signs at 19th and Iowa streets. They appear to be on public property, Wildgen said.

``It's public property from my perspective,'' Wildgen said.

Wildgen said he called Dana about one of his signs on public right-of-way at 23rd and Learnard streets, and Dana was cooperative about the matter.

``He was real nice,'' Wildgen said, adding candidates usually don't even know where their signs are posted because supporters put them up for them.

``It's an accidental or unintentional violation of an ordinance,'' Dana said in a telephone interview Tuesday. ``The campaign manager, he'll be coming over to remove the signs on Thursday.

Wildgen's tip for placing signs: Don't put one up near a sidewalk or utility pole because that's probably public right-of-way.

Political hopefuls can put up signs on private property six weeks before an election and must take them down two weeks after, Wildgen said. The signs cannot exceed 16 square feet. The same rules apply to the county.

Wildgen said the city throws away the signs as it collects them.

``We hold them hostage,'' he joked.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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