Now that election season is upon us, campaign signs will dominate the scenery as you drive through town. With 4 council seats up for grabs, including the at-large seat, expect to see signs in every neighborhood in town.
But, you should not be seeing any signs in the public right-of-way. Not only is it against Puyallup Municipal Code, but it really doesn’t represent anything. The rule for campaign signs is a sign in a yard is worth two votes. Obviously, not every home has exactly two voters, but it averages out that way.
A sign in a right-of-way equals no voters. Candidates put signs there for two reasons: 1.)Visability 2.)They don’t have yards to put them in. The second point is the key, candidates that do not have a lot of supporters have to get their name out there, so they resort to public land. In this year’s election Nicole Martineau has the majority of her signs in the public right-of-way, which makes sense for her.
But, Mrs. Martineau should not have them there for long. On Monday, City Manager Ralph Dannenberg sent out an email reminding candidates to not place signs in the right-of-way. The email is posted below.
So, in the next couple days you should see no more campaign signs lining city streets or more complaints will be filed and the city staff will remove them.
Here is Mr. Dannenberg’s email:
My office has received several calls regarding the placement
of campaign signs. I want to remind each of you that PMC 20.60.070(1)
states, in part, “Political signs shall not be placed within any public right-of-way.
Signs established in violation of this subsection may be immediately removed
and destroyed by the code enforcement manager or his agent.” The
city staff will not destroy any signs. Our process will be to verify a
complaint and notify the candidate of the violation asking for their help by
removing the sign. If it is not removed in a time as designated by the
code enforcement officer, city staff will remove the sign and it will be
available for pickup the following day at city hall.
City staff is in the process of preparing documents that
easily demonstrate the ROW. If you are unsure of the ROW, please contact
the 2nd floor permit counter and they may assist you.
Ralph W. Dannenberg