As the June 19 congressional election draws closer, county officials say political signs are becoming an ever-increasing sight alongside county roads.
"(They are) just getting to be very abundant," said Linda Glasscock, Columbia County's code compliance manager. "The signs are being placed in the right of ways. Of course, county staff is having to remove them, store them."
Signs, not just those touting political candidates, are not allowed in county rights of way as part of state law and a county ordinance.
On an average month, Glasscock's staff picks up more than 120 signs from the rights of way, including those of political nature and from another frequent offender: the real estate industry.
The number of political signs increases drastically during political campaigns, such as the ones involving the election to fill the congressional seat vacated by the late Rep. Charlie Norwood and the state Senate seat being vacated by Jim Whitehead, who is running for Norwood's seat.
"We've noticed a whole lot more," Glasscock said. "It'll double, especially in the several weeks prior to the election. That's when it gets really bad. That's when they just line (the political signs) up and down the street."
Such signs can be placed legally only on private property, out of the county right of way along roadsides, Glasscock said.
"Typically, if (the signs) are behind those telephone poles, they are OK because telephone poles are normally set at the back of the county right of way," she said.
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