ROCKFORD - Political signs are
hard to miss leading up to an election, but some of those signs in
"I see a lot of problems with the fact that people aren't adhering to that [ordinance], of all campaigns, not just one or two, it seems to be across the board," said Alderman Doug Mark, (R -3rd Ward).
The ordinance Alderman Mark is talking about is the city's Neighborhood Standard code. The code regulates all types of zoning complaints from tall grass, to excessive garbage piling up outside someone's home. But the Standard code also has rules about yard signs and a specific area dedicated to campaign signs.
Typical yard signs you see in people's yards, ones that measure two and a half feet by one and a half feet, are okay by city code, but that's about it. The city's rule restricts signs to be no larger than five square feet, both in residential zones and commercial and industrial zones.
No restrictions exist in regard to the number of signs for homeowners, but the rules crack down on business owners who display more than two campaign signs for one individual or issue.
The full list of Neighborhood Standard ordinances can be found here.
Now the question remains if campaign signs are even worth it. Are signs effective anymore? Nancy Reed-Butz has signs supporting republican candidates in her yard. She says her family puts up signs just to show their support.
"It's not going to change anybody's mind," said Reed-Butz. "I think if they're going to vote a certain way, they're going to vote a certain way, a sign's not going to change that."
But others say showing your support may in fact have a little sway when it comes to those who don't have their minds made up.
"People who maybe are undecided, it might give them a name to look at, something serious," said Tom Kerr.
Regardless of how effective political signs are, the ones that are breaking the rules are still breaking the rules.
"These are the people that we're going to elect to uphold our laws and so it concerns me," said Ald. Mark.
Alderman Mark says the violation falls on the individual home or business owner and says the city could take down the sign and potentially fine the sign owner.