It's election season and therefore you see signs everywhere you turn. Usually colorful and eye-catching, the signs are supposed to attract voters, but in Newton, they've attracted the police.
"We've been receiving some complaints about individual political campaign signs that have been removed from places that they've put them."
And with the city gearing up to elect its new mayor, candidates aren't too happy about this disappearing act. So that's when the Newton Police Dept. steps in.
"I think it's either people that either aren't supporting that particular political candidate you know possibly removing the sign, or it could be some sort of practical jokes being played."
But practical jokes may not be the only issue.
"Political candidates need to be careful with where they choose to put their signs, because political signs like this one are on private property."
"The individual placing those signs could be charged with criminal trespassing because they went on property that they had no business on."
It's up to the owner to allow candidates to place signs on his of her personal property but signs cannot be placed on public property.
"It's a violation of city ordinance. Typically if they're in the right of way we will remove them...especially if they're in an intersection."
And that removal could cost you.
"That would be a misdemeanor charge and they would end up paying for it."
And lose a few voters in the process because...
"We stack them up here by the police department and provide them notice and they can come get it if they want to. Otherwise we'll take them to landfill."
So when an election hits, it's best for candidates to contact local law enforcement and zoning officials before hitting the campaign trail.
The election is set for August 28 at the Newton Police Department.
Again, political candidates are asked to contact their local zoning officials in reference to putting out election signs as each city or area may have different stipulations regarding the practice.
Unless you are contacted directly, your city has no plans of removing your signs.
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