Friday, November 10, 2006

Signs (part 2)

I was driving around yesterday and I saw city workers harvesting the abundant crop of political signs. I will be glad to see the signs go, but I am not at all happy that the city chose not to enforce the anti-sign ordinance weeks or months ago. I presume that when a legislative body enacts a law, it intends for the law to be enforced. The ordinance, which is codified in Chapter 19 of the City Charter entitled “Nuisances and environmental control,” was enacted, I presume, to avoid the visual pollution in the city caused by everybody putting up signs all over the place.

The law declares all signs on public property to be nuisances, and provides that both the individual who erects the sign and the person or organization on whose behalf the sign is erected are guilty of violating the provision. The ordinance provides for a fine of between $10 and $25 for each sign posted, for each day that it is posted. It also states that if the city is forced to remove the signs it can collect the cost of removing the sign from the person or organization who posted it.

From the fact that the city did not enforce the ordinance with respect to political signs erected during the recent campaign, I must assume that the city government is flush with money. Why else would it deliberately refuse to assess fines or collect the cost of removal from the various campaign committees that planted all the signs? When the next budget cycle comes around, let’s all remember the thousands of dollars that the city did not collect this election year.

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