Vernon bylaw staff are enforcing policies regarding signs on city property.

Vernon bylaw staff are enforcing policies regarding signs on city property.

Signs go up, signs go down

Vernon election signs are coming down as fast as they go up.

Election signs are coming down as fast as they go up.

Vernon bylaw enforcement officers have removed about 30 election signs from public property because they contravene city bylaws.

“Political signage is only supposed to be displayed on private property, and not on city right-of-ways,” said Clint Kanester, bylaw enforcement manager, adding that candidates are made aware of the policy when they file their nomination papers.

However, the policy hasn’t gone over well with at least one resident.

“Elections are really the most important fabric of our society,” said Derek Beardsell, who observed city staff taking down signs.

“Removing signs to me is a kind of Big Brother control. It’s not like the candidates are trying to promote a garage sale.”

Patrick Davies, who is running for mayor, picked up signs from bylaw enforcement Wednesday.

“I’m sure some were not put in the right places and we will have to make sure they are,” he said.

“I know they (city) don’t want to seem biased but I don’t think anyone looking around says, ‘It’s public park and they (city) are supporting a specific candidate.’”

Councillor candidate Mike Pearson has had signs removed at both roundabouts.

“I thought I was being creative by putting them there but the rules are the rules,” he said.

But Pearson still questions why bylaw enforcement is directing its resources toward signs that will only be up until Nov. 19.

“We’re running for the city so why does it matter?”

Signs have been removed from five or six sites, including along 25th Avenue and the McDonald Park fence on 43rd Avenue.

“If the signage is small or out of the way, and we know it is only temporary, we will probably ignore it as long as it isn’t creating a safety concern such as a vision clearance hazard,” said Kanester.

“If we have a complaint about it, then we will remove it from that location.”

Kanester says staff do not allow election signs next to city property because it may appear that the city favours a specific candidate.

“If we allow any and all to post their signage in front of or on civic properties, then it becomes a free for all and a huge eyesore in front of a park or other civic property,” he said.