(Jim Clark) – October 15 is rapidly approaching. That’s when the Tahoe Basin grading season ends for the year. On that date all the flaggers, the “30 Minute Delay Possible” signs, the detours, the “Traffic Fines Doubled in Work Zone” notifications and the diesel-belching yellow digging machines will all be packed up for the winter. That’s when our Tahoe Basin visual annoyances will be reduced to just one . . . bootleg campaign signs proliferating along roadways.
But an Incline non-profit corporation is trying to do something about even that electoral inevitability. Get Out the Vote, Inc. recently contacted all candidates for state and local office with the following challenge:
You have filed for public office to represent, in whole or part, the Incline Township which includes InclineVillageand Crystal Bay, Nevada. The Washoe County Roads Department has publicly stated that they intend to enforce the county sign ordinance (Washoe County Code Section 110.504.35) which provides:
The following signs and displays are prohibited: signs on public property or rights-of-way; signs attached to utility poles, street standards, trees or fences.
While we believe that campaign signs on private property with permission of the owner are totally appropriate and guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, campaign signs placed in violation of the County Code constitute blight and an ecological degradation to the scenic streets and highways in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
We would like to list your name in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza as both a law abider and opponent of blight in the Incline Township. If you agree to this proposal, please click the “reply” icon and respond to this email with the simple words “I agree” or words to that effect.
Please note that “public property” includes a 7 1/2 foot unpaved easement for public utility lines and plowed snow on either side of the pavement of rural county roads, and that NDOT’s right-of-way runs 75′ each way from the center line of state highways 28 and 431. Look to see where private improvements abut highways as an approximation of the end of NDOT’s right-of-way
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Get Out The Vote, Inc.
With budget cutbacks, the County Roads Department is going to be hard-pressed to be everywhere in the county at once, but the idea that candidates can be self-policing, at least in the Incline Township, is refreshing.
As this column goes to press, the following have responded and agreed to insure their campaign signs comply with the law and do not proliferate on public properties:
Candidates for school board: Lisa Ruggiero, Dale Richardson
Candidate for district court judge: Cal Dunlap
Candidates for IVGID: Jim Smith, George Del Carlo and Jim Hammerel
Candidate for North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District: Paul Zahler.
As more candidates respond, I will publicly acknowledge whether they concur with the Get Out The Vote, Inc. challenge in subsequent columns up to and through the November 6 election day.
If readers see campaign signs they suspect are in violation of County Code, they can contact Rick Thompson of County Roads at (775) 328-2180 and/or email me at the below email address and I will forward the information to Get Out The Vote, Inc.
After all, wannabe lawmakers should respect and obey our laws.
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates and has served on the Washoe County & Nevada State GOP Central Committees; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)