Lawmakers or law breakers? Councilman weighs in on campaign sign - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lawmakers or law breakers? Councilman weighs in on campaign signs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Look alongside any major road and down any neighborhood street and chances are you’ll find several political signs. It’s that time of year to see them on almost every street corner. But not all signs are created equal.

"Politicians and candidates quite often do it unknowingly,” said Dan Tafel, council member in Rolling Fields. He says signs are being illegally placed throughout the city, like one put up for Mark Gaston who’s running for Family Court Judge. His sign is near the on-ramp to Interstate 264.

"It is illegal to put it in these public right-of-ways,” he said, “and it does cost the tax payers money, in removal, and damage to mowing equipment for both neighborhood cities as well as the state."

Several other signs, in support of Geoffrey Morris for Metro Council, were placed between the sidewalk and the highway. That's the public right-of-way, according to city ordinance and state statute, where they're not allowed.

"The city definitely says you cannot put them within three, approximately three to five yards depending upon whether it's a county road or a city road," said Tafel.

So are they lawmakers, or law breakers? That's the question Tafel is asking on Facebook. He created a page on Monday to try to stop campaigns from placing signs illegally around Louisville.

"I would say, just make your campaign workers aware of what the rules and what the laws are understand that it's not always attractive to put your signs up everywhere,” he said. “I think everyone has a perfect right to freedom of expression to put it in your front yard, but also putting it on taxpayers' publicly maintained property, it's not right."

Tafel, who's a council member in Rolling Fields, knows some of these candidates and says his frustration is not a personal attack. "I just think a lot of times they're not aware that their signs are being placed by campaign workers in positions like this, so it's just an awareness issue to make them aware and also citizens aware."

WDRB's Ryan Cummings reached out to Gaston and Morris on Facebook about their signs, but have not heard back. Louisville Metro Public Works says if people file a complaint, workers will remove the signs, which by law, are not allowed to be up for more than 30 days.

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