Those seeking office in next year’s May 22 primary election must wait until April 7 before displaying their political campaign signs in Rowan County.
After receiving numerous complaints in 2014, Rowan County Fiscal Court passed an ordinance governing the display of the signage.
Then sitting Judge-Executive Jim Nickell said both politicians and the public were becoming frustrated that signs were being put up too early and were staying up too long.
Fiscal Court unanimously passed the ordinance limiting the display time frame.
The ordinance made it unlawful for any person to post a political campaign sign more than 45 days prior to the election and fail to remove within 10 days after the voting.
It is unlawful to post a political campaign sign on or over any public property in Rowan County. Those in violation will be notified and will have 24 hours to remove the sign.
The county will be entitled to $10 for each political sign in violation of the ordinance. The county road foreman, Paul Brown, is authorized to remove any political signs posted within the county when the sign is in violation of the ordinance.
When a violation is found, an attempt will be made to contact the person responsible for the posting of the sign. Twenty-four hours after the notice is given, the foreman shall remove the sign and the individual responsible for posting the sign will be subject to a fine of $10 for each sign removed.
The City of Morehead also has an ordinance stating political signs must not exceed four square feet in area and are limited to six feet in height. Signs must also be positioned a minimum of 10 feet from the street or right-of-way and removed within 10 days after each election.
At the time, Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said the ordinance “puts the burden on the candidate or the one responsible for putting the sign up.”
“We based our ordinance off Montgomery County and they really like it there,” Watkins said. “It’s kind of a gentleman’s agreement between candidates.”
Magistrates added that the signs being up as early as Thanksgiving is a nuisance and an eyesore, something no one wants to see that early in a political race year.
Those wishing to file for candidacy in a partisan race have until Tuesday, Jan. 30, to file for office.
Brad Stacy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.