After extensive discussion Monday night, the Board of Commissioners reached a consensus that any sign (campaign, real estate, yard sale) found on county rights of way is to be removed by Public Works crews and work details in the normal course of maintenance. The signs will be taken to the Public Works office and held for reclaim for 10 days.
If not reclaimed in the 10 days, the signs will then be disposed of by county personnel, County Manager William Wilson Jr. said in a memo issued Tuesday afternoon.
Wilson explained during Monday night’s discussion that the county had previously immediately disposed of real estate, yard sale and other signs found in the right of way by mowing crews, but had kept the campaign signs for pickup. Commissioner Eddie Freeman said, “The last two times I have run, they picked them up and left them outside the fire station recycling centers for pickup.”
Wilson said, as has been done in the past, the campaigns and others will not be notified if their signs are picked up.
“They will be responsible for coming to look for their signs,” he said.
Commission Chairman Gwen Flowers-Taylor said she didn’t have a problem with that, “as long as we’re not creating more work for Public Works. It would be too confusing to have two different policies.”
Most of the commissioners noted the cost of the campaign signs and that overzealous supporters sometimes put up signs where they are not supposed to be placed. Wilson said the elections supervisor advises candidates where they can and cannot put up signs.
Commissioner Bob Gilreath questioned who would be determining that signs were in the right of way since the rights of way vary from place to place. Wilson said the work crews will determine that, since they know where the rights of way are since they have to mow the entire right of way.
Wilson said crews will be out cutting grass in their normal course of operations, and will not be out just looking for signs. The memo was sent to the elections supervisor to be shared with candidates. The commissioners, Public Works, Code Enforcement, the sheriff and the county attorney also received the memo.