- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Politicians in Fairbanks and the rest of the state are receiving letters warning them to keep campaign signs compliant with the billboard law.

The law prohibits political signs on property along state-maintained roads, which in the Fairbanks North Star Borough are most roads, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1JBpU4M). For a sign to be legal, it needs to be almost two football fields away from the pavement.

In Fairbanks, there are a number of signs along state-maintained roads despite the law.

“My personal feeling is that it is legitimate for people to present their political preferences from their own property, but not out in the right-of-way, blocking traffic or being intrusive,” said Karl Kassel, who is running for Borough Mayor. “I sort of feel that political opinion is a personal free speech right from your own property. I think that it’s totally appropriate for a short period of time to allow someone to express their interest one way or another for different candidates.”

An Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokeswoman says they are sending letters to political camps throughout the state. Any sign placed too close to roads are subject to DOT removal, including signs attached to vehicles.

“We don’t have enough staff to enforce all violations,” DOT spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said in an email. “We focus on the instances where the signs are a safety concern because they are so close to the road or impacting sight.”

Another mayoral candidate, Tammie Wilson, said signs should be placed using common sense, not where they could impair traffic.

“We place them with permission from the property owner and tell them to be cognizant of the right-of-ways,” she said.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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