They are not becoming to a city in pursuit of tidiness: campaign signs from the previous election that have been left to decay on vacant lots or in front of shuttered homes. For that reason we are pleased that the Uvalde City Council took steps last week to ensure that temporary signs, which is how political signs are now categorized, face time and quantity limits.
The measures taken by the city included amending the political sign ordinance by folding it into the category of temporary signs and then stipulating that they are limited to one sign per candidate per yard, with corner lots being permitted to host one sign facing each street. The ordinance further limits the time that any non-permanent sign can be posted to a total of 90 days in a 6-month period and not more than 180 days in any calendar year.
For candidates running in next year’s March primary that means signs erected ahead of the election will have to be removed and reinstalled for the General Election the following November. And while that might seem like a hardship, it also eliminates a certain amount of clutter for a meaningful stretch of time.
City council member Rogelio M. Munoz was the lone dissenter in the 5-1 vote to amend the sign ordinance, referring to some previous discussions which centered on the inadvisability of passing ordinances that cannot be enforced due to a lack of manpower.
We certainly see that argument as being legitimate, and hope that city council will insist on code enforcement taking an active role in monitoring the temporary signs that sprout during campaign season. Removing the advertisements within the prescribed time limit is essential to maintaining the appearance of the city.
Temporary signs, whether they be political or commercial in nature, have a place in any community but without oversight the tendency is to go to extremes. We have seen that in past elections when a single city block sprouted dozens of signs, many for the same candidate. The new ordinance should restore a sense of perspective and responsibility for candidates who place the signs and for those of us who get to look at them