- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Some candidates, who were eliminated in the August primaries seven weeks ago, still have not picked up all of their political signs.

Most cities give people five to 10 days to remove the signs once the person is no longer a candidate. But there is no effective way of policing or enforcing those ordinances.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1iA6JhA) Tupelo allows candidates five days to remove their signs, but has to rely more on self-policing by the candidates and their supporters.

“We just don’t have the resources to go out and get them all,” said Tupelo Development Services director Shane Hooper. “We only have five code enforcement officers, and it would take too long for them to cover the entire city. Then again, they are not our responsibility. They are the responsibility of the candidates.”

In Tupelo, candidates are supposed to go to city hall to get a permit before placing political signs. At that point, the candidate is given a fact sheet that lists where signs can and cannot be placed, as well as when the signs need to be removed.

“But that information is not always shared with the well-intentioned supporters,” Hooper said.

That can lead to signs set out in the right of way and other places they shouldn’t be, such as private property without the permission of the owner.

When the code enforcement officers are out and do see a former candidate’s sign, they do remove it, if they can. They cannot go on private property and remove signs. The city employees can only remove signs on public property or in the right of way.

“What we have now is not sufficient, there is no enforcement component in the ordinance,” Hooper said. “We will sit down and hammer out a plan and have it in place before the next election cycle.”


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com

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