Last Sign Standing…..IT’S FINALLY GONE!

January 2, 2012

by Martha Martin

Caryn Plinski's last political sign still standing (sign to right is real estate ad) (photo Martha Martin)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE:  THE SIGN IS NOW GONE!  As of  January 17th, 56 days past the date which political signs are to be removed, Caryn Plinki’s sign disappeared from the SE Evergreen and SE Gibson Road location.   Thank you to who ever you are that removed it.

ORIGINAL STORY:

What do you think of a political candidate who still has not taken down their sign?

There is one sign left to be removed, and it belongs to one of the new members of the City of Washougal Council; Caryn Plinski.

The sign is located on Clark County right of way property, not private property, although that would not make too much difference.   All signs should be removed by now.

The election was held on November 8th of 2011.  Granted, no one was quite sure whether the winner was either Caryn Plinski or Rod Morris until the recount of December 5th, but that does not have anything to do with removal of political signs.

I’ve driven all around this area, and have found no other signs left standing on public property, except this one (there still remains a Dino Rossi sign, but that is located on private property…and it’s been there since the last election for governor of our state).

I wanted to give our new member of city council the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps she just did not know about this sign, and needed to be informed.

So, that’s what I did.

At the December 19th city council meeting, I noted that Caryn was in attendance and took the opportunity to let her know about her lone sign.  She let me know that she was grateful, and that she didn’t get to that part of the area very often (which might mean she did not place the sign, or was there the one time to actually place it).

We joked a bit about how it was left there to “wave in the wind all by itself”.

So, she is now informed about her sign.

Just what are the rules and regulations regarding campaign sign removal after an election?

For the readers, here are the rules (taken from the Clark County Election Site, see full document here):

Requirements are as follows:

• A special registration must be obtained to place political signs in unincorporated Clark County. Applications are available at no cost from the Department of Community Development, P.O. Box 9810, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver 98666. An application is enclosed with this packet. Mail in applications are accepted or apply at Permit Services –  hours are 8 a.m.-noon, Monday to Friday, except Wednesday, when they are open until 4p.m. (I don’t know if she did this, but it is interesting to note this requirement…did anyone do this?)

• Signs may not be placed in locations that would constitute traffic hazards. If you are advised by this office of a hazardous placement, please remove the sign at your earliest convenience. (No problem so far, please see the picture of the sign).

• Political signs must be removed within 15 days of the election. Campaigns with a master map of sign locations and a pickup schedule will find it easier to comply. (November 22nd was the 15th day, and it is now January 2nd of 2012; that’s 41 days past the time is was supposed to be removed).  

As of today, January 2nd, the sign remains on county right of way, just north of the exit off of SR-14 that takes you either west on Evergreen towards Washougal, or east up Gibson Road.

What makes this such an issue?  After all, it’s just a small sign, and it does not really stand out much with its black and white motif.

The issue, in my opinion, is that this last sign standing makes a statement about a person’s knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of the regulations, their ability to listen to a citizen who is offering assistance, and the apparent lack of effort to comply.  It worries me a bit, since this person will have to learn quite a bit about the role of city council, which has rules much more complicated than the removal of a political sign.

So I ask the readers again; what do you think about a political candidate who still has not removed their sign?  Drop me an email at editor@silverstarreporter.com.