Campaign signs must come down quickly

Political candidates have just two weeks to remove their campaign signs after the Tuesday election, according to a Carson City ordinance.

Mayoral candidate Tom Tatro wasted little time, hitting the streets before dark Tuesday to collect his signs.

A violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor, but Carson City principal planner Rob Joiner said Tuesday the city has not sought prosecution regarding any political signs in the 15 years he has been with the Community Development Department.

"We've had a rare individual sign in field somewhere, one that wasn't on somebody's list or had been moved by someone," Joiner said. "We'd issue a warning first before seeking prosecution."

A successful prosecution could result in fines up to $1,000 per violation and six months in jail.

But candidates have another financial incentive to reclaim their signs - they have invested a lot of money in them and may be able to reuse them in future elections.

A 4-foot by 4-foot sign printed in two colors on weatherproof plastic costs up to $79, while a 4-by-8 plastic sign runs $112 to $158, Jennifer Hollister of SignPro Carson City said Tuesday. Even a small 18-by-24-inch sign can cost $5.58 each in quantities of 100.

A 4-by-8 wooden sign can cost up to $235, she said, "so it behooves them to reuse their signs if possible."

While Title 20 of the Carson City Municipal Code sets the 14-day deadline, a 30-day limit set by Nevada law holds sway for any political signs legally placed on state highway rights-of-way.


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