Campaign sign wars in Arroyo Grande

September 23, 2022

OPINION by SHARLOTTE WILSON

Here we go, campaign sign wars are on again! With an election season upon us once again, campaign signs are allowed to start posting 60 days before an election. Here we are just 12 days into the allowed time to post campaign signs, and violation of sign rules have already been observed in Arroyo Grande.

There are different rules for city limits and county limits, but they do have some similarities. You cannot block a public right-of-way, which includes public streets, sidewalks, city or county owned property, or public easements. It also includes landscaping that is parallel to the street and the sidewalk. You must have the permission of the property owner to place a sign anywhere on their property. Posting your sign on public property or fences is never in compliance.

One of the many reasons that I am supporting Gary Joralemon for Lucia Mar Unified School District is because of his ethical thinking and respect. We’re on the same page when it comes to putting up signs in District 5. He has reviewed the Arroyo Grande sign guidelines for political signs, and is making every effort to abide by the rules. So far he has succeeded.

The other candidate, Colleen Martin, actually has a reputation for violating sign rules.

This will be Ms. Martin’s fifth term if she is re-elected for the school board. She has shared with people that she puts her campaign signs up on a Friday night, knowing it is not a legal location, then waits for the officials to take them down on Monday.

Ms. Martin gathers them up on Tuesday or Wednesday and then starts the game over on the following weekend. And, it looks like she is up to her old tricks again this year!

This is an unnecessary extra job for our public service workers who have to come out to remove the signs and notify the offender.

The county received reports of sign violations on El Campo Rd. the first week they were allow to be placed. The violating signs were removed on Sept. 15, and by Saturday Sept 17 they were back up, plus with more added. Her city violations have been spotted on public easements under stop signs, on the strip of grass between the curb and sidewalk of a vacant home, and in the curbside landscaping at the entrance to a housing development,to name a few.

Our county and city’s might want to consider fining code violations to help cover the cost of sending out code enforcement officers. If you see signs that you believe are not placed with permission, or on public easements or block the public right-of-way, don’t be afraid to report it. This is a classic case of “right for me, not for thee.”

It is disappointing that when we should be discussing important topics like safer schools, competitive teacher pay and classroom curriculum, we’re instead focused on this kind of silliness. The Board of Trustees are responsible for the responsibility of making important decisions for the well-being of our students. How can we put our trust in them if they can’t follow basic rules themselves?


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retiredpoliceofficer

With the exception of regulating the size of the sign the Supreme Court has ruled you can put a sign in your yard for as long as you like. Something about free speech. The City of Arroyo Grande knows this. More oppression of the masses from local petty politicians that want to tell everyone else how to live their lives. Sue the City or just threaten to and the’ll go away, I did a public records request. The Arroyo Grande Municipal Code has not been reviewed in over 100 years. It is riddled with illegal shit.


Bigditch

How can you set rules and policies and not follow simple basic campaign rules ?


Her friend, an ex School Board President has an Oversized sign in her front yard and has another sign in her yard. Blatant rules violation – oversized and 2 signs …


At this weekends Harvest Festival, Colleen Martin piggy backed on the Democratic Party booth. She didn’t pay and have one for herself…Gary J had has own booth and was not making a “political statement”


Time for a change IMHO…Vote Gary J


Adam Trask

Speaking of campaign signs, I wonder why Dr. Bruce Jones has a huge sign just as you enter Santa Margarita and another one as you travel between SM and the top of the Cuesta Grade?


Santa Margarita is not part of Dr. Jones’ potential constituency. In contrast, I see zero signs for Jones in Atascadero, Cayucos or Cambria. I do see a lot of Gibson signs.


It seems to me that the district is ripe for the picking. Gibson has been in a long time and is vulnerable. But, what I’ve seen of the Jones’s candidacy is very little. Had thought the recent exorbitant raises for the county echelon would have been forefront in his argument. So far, crickets. Of course, that could be because his mentor Debbie Arnold voted for these raises.


Until SLO County runs decent candidates, the infighting and scandal and apathy will remain.


SLOBodan

You seem to be contradicting yourself! You just said that signs don’t matter, yet you are upset about Dr. Jones signs! I guess they do make an impact!


Adam Trask

Yep, guilty as charged. I was just wondering out loud. Does the Jones campaign realize Santa Margarita is not part of their potential constituency? Why waste resources? I haven’t seen any Gibson signs in SM. But sure, I did contradict myself. Just found it puzzling.


kayaknut

I would guess the Jones campaign feels a lot of his potential voters drive past the signs on their daily travels……


Downtown Bob

I don’t know anything about either candidate, but so far the only thing you have is someone of a little too enthusiastic with their sign placement? Please! How do we know you didn’t put the signs there just to tarnish the candidate? I think signs make the supporters feel good about helping their guy win, but I do not think they help anyone get elected. More signs mean more supporters not necessarily more people saw signs and voted for the person.


GreatGuy

What about the issues confronting the school district and how they are going to be addressed? That’s the kind of information I find helpful, not nitpicking about campaign signs. Campaign sign issues come up at every election. I don’t think that’s the issue that people should base their votes on. But if that’s all you have…


shishkabob141

Martin must have been working Jimmy Paulding’s campaign as well, same shiny ribbons, signs placed in public right of ways…what a kook.


Adam Trask

Who cares? Anyone who votes because they see more signs for one candidate over another simply is not paying attention.


debeddarn

Don’t let her have the signs that are picked up. If they must be returned than wait until after the election!


Eyes Everywhere

If a candidate is repeatedly putting signs up illegally, they should be fined.