Time ticking to remove campaign signs

GREEN BAY — After months of campaigning, area municipalities say it's finally time to take those campaign signs down.

"Under the zoning code, the city grants up to 10 days for folks to remove political signs from their yard, after an election day,” explained Green Bay Assistant City Attorney Kail Decker.

Decker says the city does not restrict anyone from putting up a sign with a political message during an election period. However, Decker says after an election, a person who owns the sign could receive a notice and face a fine if there is a complaint.

According to state law, political campaign signs can be put on your property during an election campaign period.

An "election campaign period" is defined as starting the first day of nomination paper circulation and ends Election Day.

FOX 11 spoke with other area municipalities, like Allouez and Appleton.

Officials with both say state statutes dictate how they enforce their own zoning regulations.

The Government Accountability Board – the non-partisan state agency which enforces Wisconsin's election laws – did not respond to our request for an interview.

However, in an email, GAB spokesman Reid Magney said while state law defines the "election campaign period" and that the public may place signs on residential property during said period, the law is silent when it comes to when those signs have to be taken down.

Decker says the ambiguity of the law allows zoning laws to take over.

"It's just a way to help eliminate the clutter that can be associated with yard signs,” said Decker.

Officials in Allouez, Appleton and Green Bay all say the enforcement of the political sign ordinances is not a priority and most people generally comply after receiving a warning.

The fines vary. In Appleton it'll cost you up to $385; in Green Bay up to $681 if you don’t remove your signs when the municipalities ask.

Copyright 2014 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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