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.