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Friday, October 10, 2014

Political Signs Point of Contention Among Politicians, City, Home Owners

Heading south on Memorial Parkway toward the intersection of Clover Ridge. 
Political season is in full swing right now. Voters are getting bombarded with political advertising on television, internet, radio, house-calls and at every festival. Politicians are sharpening their talking points and have logged many miles walking the county talking to their constituents.

Everyone involved is ready for November 4th. I've talked to more politicians in the last 3 months than most of my friends and you'd be surprised which topic comes up that many politicians complain about the most. 

No, it's not their campaign managers or what their opponent said about them in the press. For those who are behind in the polls, it's not even that they wish they had more time to make a comeback.
The complaint that comes up most deal with political yard signs. 

In no particular order here are the complaints that come across in small talk with politicians on both side of the political spectrum:

- That political teams put signs in yards without permission. 
- When their sign shares a yard with a politician they do not like. This happens most when their sign is in a yard with a politician that is in a different political party. 
- How many signs their opponent has up. 
- Their opponent has a sign up in a yard of someone they know. 
- That people are stealing their signs. 
- That political teams are putting signs up in the public right-of-way. 

With regard to the last complaint, if you drive on Memorial Parkway you may have noticed a large group of signs that were affected. The property owner who put the signs up lives on Waterworks Road and has property that extends into the woods, close to Memorial Parkway (see the image at the top of the article). 

According to the property owner, who declined comment, they have been putting signs up on the edge of their property for years with no problems. They also wondered why their signs were the ones being targeted and why other signs were seemingly being ignored. The city cited a state statute which said that signs must be 50 feet away from the center line of the state highway (Memorial Parkway). If they were to follow these rules they would be permitted to put their signs on their property, which would require cutting back trees on the edge of Memorial Parkway and Waterworks Road.

Paul Whalen, Chairman for the Democratic Party in Campbell County, has another theory about why these particular signs were ordered down by the city. "Because the immense amount of work public works departments have, sign ordinances are not always enforced unless there is a flagrant violation in respect to timing of placement and a public safety issue in respect to placement," he said. "This year, due to the competition Democrats are giving Republicans; it seems Republicans are complaining about the sign size and placement of Democratic candidates.  Case in point is the placement of Democratic signs on Memorial Parkway where we have been placing signs for years on "private" property has become an issue for enforcement."

In an article in the Community Recorder, Rob Hans, chief district engineer for KYTC District 6 said, "This time of year especially, we see a lot of signs. Political signs and other advertising signs can block the view of drivers at intersections as they watch for oncoming traffic."

KYTC District 6 is responsible for more than 4,657 miles of roadway in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton and Robertson counties.

Fort Thomas city staff notified the property owner in this case and told them to remove their signs, however they can, and often do, remove the signs without notice. These signs were removed 

"Employees who are removing signs are acting in the best interest of all motorists and of maintenance crews," State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle said. "We appreciate the public's cooperation and understanding."


  1. Which signs were taken down?

  2. They were almost all democrats, I believe.

  3. The city of Fort Thomas only removes Democratic signs, I've noticed.