SAN ANTONIO - Now that the Texas primary election is over, what about all those campaign signs cluttering up the roadsides? Is there a term limit for them to be cleaned up? It's a common complaint after elections in San Antonio, so News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Jaie Avila went to the city's “sign police” to get the answer.
Northeast Side homeowner Sondra Parson sees a lot of signs near her house and has seen what happens when they're not removed.
“There are election signs everywhere! It's been going on for a while now, but it's been getting worse, and nobody seems to be accountable for cleaning them up. I think they fade, they start to peel, they just make the area look real trashy,” camplained Parson.
San Antonio has a pretty tough sign ordinance. You have to get a permit to post even a small sign. However, a state law passed in 2003 made political signs exempt. The city can do nothing about them, as long as the candidate has the permission of the property owner to put them up.
That doesn't mean though that campaign signs can stay up indefinitely. By city ordinance they can only be up for a total of 90 days.
“What we'll do is, two and a half months afterward, we start looking for signs. If the signs are still up, we basically just pull them out of the ground. If we do notice a particular candidate has a number of signs out there, we will consider taking them to municipal court and have a judge assess a fine,” explained Roderick Sanchez, the city’s Development Services Director.
There is a big exception this time around: many candidates are facing a run-off election in late July. So their signs are allowed to stay up, as long as they have the permission of the property owner.
That means you could be looking at some of the same signs until late August. Then a new batch will go up before the general election in November.
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