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When campaign signs go bad
By ERICA HALL
A flap over the inappropriate placement of campaign signs in Federal Way has resulted in the removal of about a dozen.
City code prohibits campaign signs anywhere on private property, compliance officer Martin Nordby said.
They cant be in the public right-of-way, but we kind of stretch it a bit because sometimes you cant tell, he said. If theyre behind a curb, gutter, sidewalk and utility poles, we usually call it good.
The city doesnt regulate whats on political signs there arent any rules related to fonts, sizes or colors as long as theyre not on public property and theyre no bigger than six square feet. And the police dont issue citations for sign violations; thats the code compliance officers job.
Nordby said he doesnt patrol for offending signs, but hell pull them if he sees something really obvious, like on a utility pole.
Because there are only two code compliance officers in the city, Nordby said looking for sign violations particularly during campaign season isnt the best use of the officers time.
Nordby said he doesnt give people citations for violations of the campaign sign code You give people the benefit of the doubt, he said but once the signs are pulled, candidates can only get them back for a cost: $7 for the first sign and $5 for any additional signs.
If no one comes to claim them after 14 days, theyre thrown away.
Nordby said hes received a few calls for sign violations and grabbed about a dozen signs, all belonging to Municipal Court judge candidate Michael Morgan except for one belonging to City Council candidate Dini Duclos.
Morgan said he moved his signs on the occasions Nordby called. He added he spends several hours a week driving through the city removing vandalized signs and making sure the campaign volunteers who place his signs around town havent put them anywhere that would violate city regulations.
Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org