GREEN Campaign signs for certain races in Green are disappearing and one candidate is wondering why. But Green officials say the signs were simply removed because they were placed in city right-of-way.
While several candidates running for ward seats throughout the city say they have found campaign signs had gone missing, the focus has been in Ward 3 where Susan Ridgeway is competiting against Rocco Yeargin.
Ridgeway and her husband, Phil Ridgeway, said they have received several calls from supporters saying city workers have been pulling their signs.
"To have signs taken or stolen for a ward race is unbelievable," Phil Ridgeway said. "I don’t know whether to laugh or cry."
The Ridgeways also say that one of their signs at the intersection of Caston and Arlington roads has been vandalized. Phil Ridgeway also said he recently went to the city’s recycling center and found 18 Ridgeway signs and one Yeargin sign there.
Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer said the city does not allow for any signs on city property and admits several have been removed, which were placed by several candidates.
Green Communications Coordinator Valerie Wolford added that the city sent out a letter stating candidates to keep signs 20 feet from the right-of-way. They can only go up 30 days prior to an election and should be removed within seven days of an election. The letter also said signs may only be placed on private property, with the permission of the property owner.
Signs posted in the city right-of-way can be a safety issue and the Service Department will remove the signs that do not comply, according to Wolford. Any signs taken by the city will be retained for seven days.
Susan Ridgeway, though, isn't satisfied with the letter sent out to candidates, and she says a letter was not sent out prior to the primary election in Ward 3.
"The city is making up rules as they go," Ridgeway said. "They don’t have any legal backing."
Other candidates speak
Yeargin said it is hard to put a number on how many of his signs have gone missing, but he said it seems like it has been "an excessive number," adding that he knows anytime someone runs for office, some can turn up missing.
"I think to a degree you expect that as a candidate, said Yeargin.
Barbara Babbitt, who is running for a seat in Ward 1, said some of her signs have been taken while others have been damaged and left in place.
Incumbent Ward 1 Councilman James Ahlstrom said he hasn’t had any signs go missing, but some have been damaged from the wind.
"Our signs are fairly large and act like windsails with a strong enough gust," Ahlstrom said. "Our campaign supporters are awesome enough to either re-stake the signs or let us know and we stop out and reset or replace the sign."