City Not Enforcing Campaign Signs Law

Published On: Nov 10 2011 01:48:07 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 04 2011 07:04:39 AM CDT

The city of Houston is defending its decision to allow small campaign signs alongside the curbs on city property, which is illegal.

Bob White said he is sick of looking at the sea of campaign signs on city property, like those inside the gate at the West Gray polling place. The signs, Local 2 Investigates learned, are a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.

In October, City Attorney David Feldman warned candidates about illegally placing campaign signs on city property and threatened them with fines.

"The city has been selectively enforcing their sign ordinance on me," said White.

Some candidates believed they were being singled out, while others pulled their signs from the ground when they found out it was illegal.

But just weeks after Feldman's first memo, he said the city would allow certain sizes of political signs on city rights of way.

City officials said a policy discussion took place within the administration, and that they were concerned about campaigns being pitted against one another.

White said regardless of the discussion, the law is the law.

"Frankly, I find it pretty bad that the mayor and the city attorney say we don't care what the law is," he said.

The city attorney said two things will likely happen in the future. Either the city council relaxes the law officially, or they more stringently enforce the law.

He added that some candidates have been cited for placing signs on city property.

The city has sent a crew to remove the signs inside the gate at the West Gray polling place.

But the city attorney said he still plans on allowing candidates to place campaign signs along the curb, despite it being in violation of the law.


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