Your Voice: Alternate sign-stealing theory
by Jim Dale, Tracy
Nov 02, 2012 | 2758 views | 16 16 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

If I may, I would like to posit an alternate theory as to why many campaign signs were reported as disappearing from their prominent display positions (“Campaigners, residents note sign disappearances,” Oct. 26 Tracy Press).

In my opinion, the many signs are a blight on an otherwise beautiful Tracy landscape. Much effort has been expended by the city in the name of beautification, and many residents follow the example with their personal property. When I moved here some 14 years ago from “the city,” two things really stood out to me visually — the first was how many stars you could see at night, and the second was the pride residents and officials take in how our city looks.

Every couple of years, it seems the proliferation of campaign signage increases. It is to the point that on some corners, you would have to park your car, get out, and walk to read all the signs without causing a traffic hazard. The occasional “lost kitty” sign is one thing, but all the signs I see daily in Tracy informing me of the many garage sales, mattress sales, to sell my gold and jewelry, lose weight, etc., are ugly — campaign signage puts that blight over the top.

In the Tracy Press article, a political science professor is quoted as saying “signs are unlikely to make a significant difference during a campaign...” Second grade math will land you on the logical side of that point. Also in the article, I take exception to the caption under the picture on Page 8 that states in part “Hands off: Campaign signs adorn the fencing around a vacant lot...” The dictionary defines “adorn” as “to make more pleasing, attractive, impressive, etc.” Are you kidding me?

I would like to think that a smart candidate would find more productive uses for campaign funds and that a smart City Council would consider what these signs actually contribute to our beautiful city. The problem with the latter point is many of these signs are owned by council members, which is your classical conflict of interest.

Although probably not legal in some cases, my theory is that some citizens might be taking the blight problem into their own hands. If so, I don’t think I can blame them for their motive.
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tracydad1
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November 02, 2012
FYI: During Trick or Treating with the kids I noticed some signs in the ivy across the street from the clubhouse.
backinblack
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November 02, 2012
Dale C and Ornley, Sad to say but I know you guy's realize as well as I do there's a growing number of people in our society who will make an excuse for anybody and everything. It's a case of Hey, if it fits my agenda or lack of appreciation for the law, it's fine with me.

Tell you what, it's pathetic we even need to address something like stealing political signs, what a childish thing to do regardless of which side of the political scale someone's on.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 02, 2012
It's a case of Hey, if it fits my agenda or lack of appreciation for the law, it's fine with me.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 02, 2012
It's a case of Hey, if it fits my agenda or lack of appreciation for the law, it's fine with me.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 02, 2012
I do hate th way TP truncates everythang ya copy an paste with quotation marks around it. Ya'd thank with th money they spend on this site they could prevent it fum happenin.

Oh well.

"It's a case of Hey, if it fits my agenda or lack of appreciation for the law, it's fine with me."

It's just a variation of th statement many use ta justify thair actions as, "It's ain't against th law unless ya get caught breakin it."

It's also th same reasonin murderers use ta murder thair victims as it fits thair agenda.

Th real problem with that mindset is that while many people don't actually do those sorts of thangs they are teachin thair children it's ok ta break th law.

Speedin ta get yer kid ta school. Well kiddies don't fear, mommy is OK an if she don't get caught it ain't against th law an that makes it all OK.

U turns in front of th school while droppin off or pickin up yer kids. That's OK an not a problem as long as ya don't get caught doin it.

Same holds true fer th car that does an effective parachute drop as th car slowly moves down th street in front of th school.

That cell phone ya got. It's OK ta use it when yer drivin cus it's only against th law if ya get caught.

Oh I can go on an on about situationally obeyin or breakin th law.

"Don't talk that way to your mother it's disrespectful." "Why dad, you do it all the time." "Stop hitting your sister or I'll beat the crap out of you again."

Man do we send a lot of mixed messages to people.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 02, 2012
On th sign issue, I would like ta see an ordinance sayin that all political signs had ta be removed within 48 hours after th election.

I'd also extend it ta th placement of all garage sale signs an require all of them signs ta have an address an workin telephone number on em.

Additionally, none of em, political or otherwise, should be on public property includin light posts, telephone poles, stop signs an th like.

Ya wanna put up a sign? Do it on yer own property or th property someone has given ya permission ta put it on an none of that includes public property if fer no other reason than ya did't ask th entire public fer permission ta do so.

Sorta get tired of my town lookin like a dump cus other people don't deal with thair signs in a timely fashion an expect someone else ta clean up after thair mess.

Here's a suggestion fer yer next political signs in yer yard.

Around th edges of th sign put a thin layer of grease that's mixed with a little red permanent ink.

You will know that it's thair an take th proper precautions not ta get it on ya when ya take yer sign down outa yer yard. It's not hazardous an therefore no one will get hurt frum it. But th guy, probably a kid or an adult actin like a kid, that takes it hurriedly in th middle of th night will end up with grease mixed with permanent red ink on his hands an as he attempts to get it off quickly will spread it around on his clothes an probably th car he's ridin around in havin his fun an it will be easy ta catch him red handed an everyone fer a couple of weeks until it wears off will know who it is.

Of course ya know they do this with money stolen frum banks. Works too.
Mr.Freeland
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November 02, 2012
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....
dcose
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November 02, 2012
"Although probably not legal...my theory is that some citizens might be taking the blight problem into their own hands... I don’t think I can blame them for their motive."

Short version... The ends justify the means.

Your justification for theft misses the point. Parse it every which way you want...

it's still theft... and

It stifles freedom of speech. Other than you having your say, clearly both are of no importance to you.

A different county having less choices and more repression would suit you better.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 02, 2012
What is it about th freedom of expression A.K.A. speech an personal private property do people just not understand?

Got a message frum my son whair a woman came inta his store, th one he privately owns an operates as a family business, went behind th sales counter an tore down one of them fake Obama dollars that had a face value, in print, of zero.

She then shredded it an tossed it up in th air ta rain down on him like confetti an said, "You should be ashamed of yourself for displaying something like that."

Yep, he certainly was ashamed along with th sheriff who arrested her fer willful destruction of personal property, trespassing an creating a public disturbance.

Th judge was also ashamed as he fined her $1,500 an gave her 30 days in th county jail ta thank about her transgressions in that she had already been warned by th judge on a previous occasion that such activities were illegal.

Her husband, a business owner down th street, was also ashamed as he apologized ta my son fer his wife's actions an hoped it wouldn't damage thair business relationship in th future.

Th other day I was in that establishment an she treated me well. A lesson larned in civility apparently
topwing
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November 02, 2012
Hmm... I don't see anywhere in my letter where I condone breaking the law and fact is I don't.

I did however state that if someone were taking down signs for the reasons I discussed, saying "I can't blame them for their motive" is not the same as saying I can't blame them for breaking the law and "probably not legal in some cases" implies that in some cases, it might not be against the law to remove a sign. In fact, it might have not been legal to put it there in the first place.

MY OPINION is the many signs of all types makes our city look like crap. That has nothing to do with whether it is lawful to post or remove them, that would be the subject of a different letter or forum thread. The intent of my letter was to point out that some citizens might take exception to the proliferation of signage. I was not attempting to render a legal opinion.

I can only be responsible for what I say, not what you understand.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 04, 2012
I dont think signs meet the definition of "blight" unless it cannot be improved (meaning taking them down after election season is over). There is no point getting perturbed over signs.

Like the song, "sign sign everywhere a sign". "So, I took off my hat and said imagine that, huh, me, working for you".

The real problem was people stealing signs. Do they discard them, or litter?

We cannot accept the sign stealers, if we feel bothered by the signs... because these trouble makers only serve to pertubate the problem, and get people all rilled-up.

Recall the group that resorted to calling 911. I am by no means advocating it, but the thought did cross my mind.
dcose
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November 04, 2012
Although probably not legal in some cases, my theory is that some citizens might be taking the blight problem into their own hands. If so, I don’t think I can blame them for their motive."
dcose
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November 04, 2012
"Parse it every which way you want...

it's still theft"
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 05, 2012
You are absolutely right dcose. There should be no excuse for people taking the law (or lack thereof) into their own hands.

And now we find out they may have tossed the signs into the ivy by the deplorable. Creating an even worse problem for all to see their errors are certainly not to be winked at.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 05, 2012
Jim Dalen A.K.A. topwing since ya said ya wrote th letter.

I can thank of no case whair citizens who are not law enforcement have th right ta enter someone's private property an remove, deface or destroy a sign placed by th property owner or placed thair with th property owners permission.

If th placement of th signage on private property, regardless if th sign was free or they paid fer it, is illegal that is an issue fer law enforcement ta deal with an not th right of any citizen ta take th laws, or lack there of, inta thair own hands.

"Not blaming then for their motives," to me, condones their illegal activity.

I recognize ya wasn't renderin a legal opinion but will query what is th point of makin a statement if th people yer makin it ta don't understand what it is yer attemptin ta say?

In that notion I am of th opinion that ya are somewhat responsible fer not only what ya say but what others understand.

Actually I don't thank adults were doin this, at least I hope not. Instead it was more than likely some kids causin problems after dark just fer th fun of it.

Admittedly not much serious damage occurred but in not dealin with th problem what might occur next?
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 05, 2012
Just as we don't have non-law enforcement citizens who pull people over fer speedin or writin citations fer other infractions of th law, non-law enforcement citizens shouldn't be engaged in enforcement of laws, or lack thereof, against other citizens on those citizens personal an private property.

I agree that all of these signs, political an otherwise, can be a blight an thair are thangs we as citizens can do about it. But takin th matter inta our own hands ain't, in my opinion, th legal or right way ta handle th problem.

Don't know or really care who ya vote fer. But let's say that ya decided ya wanted ta support Obama or Romney with a bumper sticker on yer car. After all, even though th bank might theoretically own th car, ya are th owner an ya are th only person that has th right ta place or remove a political bumper sticker on yer car.

So, here ya are. All charged up an ready ta voice yer opinion on who should be elected by placin th sticker on yer car an someone else comes along an scrapes it off an tosses th garbage inta th street.

Can ya be as understandin as ta what motivated th person ta scrape it off yer car or are ya gonna be a little miffed an wonder why law enforcement don't stop em?

Ya feel these thangs poppin up in people's yards is wrong. But I do believe that ya also would feel that two wrongs don't ever make it right by people takin matters inta thair own hands in an attempt ta remedy th problem outside th boundaries of public law.

Nope, I don't understand or condone anyone enterin someone's property ta remove so much as a blade of grass unless they have permission from th owner ta do so.

But I do agree with ya that all of these signs all over th place sort of makes th place look like crap. Hopefully it will all be over soon an th community can start ta look normal again.

I also encourage people an th candidates ta remove these signs immediately after th elections are over an respect ta th other "commercial" signs we see dotted all over th city that don't meet th signage laws of Tracy be removed by city authorities an if possible send th bill fer th removal an disposal of signs ta th person an or company that placed em thair illegally in th first place.

But that is a law enforcement issue ta enforce th law an not yer average citizen's right ta take th matter inta his or her hands ta enforce th law.

Vigilantism is not good law enforcement or good government.


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