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Campaign signs cause confusion

EAGLE, Colorado ” It’s a common sign to see campaign signs propped up in people’s yards as November approaches. But in Eagle, the sheer number of campaign signs popping up on open space and other public property has prompted the town to warn it will enforce codes regulating sign placement and size.

Bill Gray, Eagle town planner, said that an e-mail was sent out Tuesday warning Democrats and Republicans alike that the codes regarding sign size and placement would be enforced, and that signs that violated this could would be removed.

“We have a sign code,” he said. “We sent out the e-mail to let folks know to at least respect the rules. The placement of signs can cause safety issues at intersections due to the volume of signs.”



Tom Stone, vice-chair of Eagle County Republicans, said that he found it odd that a warning was issued after the town had already removed signs from around the area.

“We took down one sign on Capitol Street,” Gray said. “The sign was too large and it was removed and returned back to that person.”



He was referring to a large sign on the Schierkolk’s property on Capitol Street. Barbara Schierkolk said that they were aware there was a sign code, but they did not know that the sign on their property was too large.

“We were not contacted beforehand,” she said. “They just came and took it.”

It is a part of the sign code that the town provide 10 days warning before removing a sign they have deemed in violation of the code. Gray said that in this particular case, the warning was not provided.



“We just took it down,” he said. “There are no politics involved here, and the issue is over as far as we are concerned.

Schierkolk also said that the issue had been resolved at last night’s town meeting.

“Gray apologized. He said he thought that the sign was on public land and not private land,” she said. “We are happy with that apology and we believe the situation was resolved.”

Donna Spinelli of Eagle County Republican Women said that numerous signs had been removed as early as last week. Spinelli said that as far as she knows, it is not in violation of code to have signs on open space, but that several signs were removed from the land across from Brush Creek Elementary School on Thursday night.

She said she was not aware of any signs endorsing Democratic candidates being removed.

She said that it is unclear who took the signs, but assumed it had been a part of the town’s plan to enforce the codes.

Carole Onderdonk, co-chairwoman of Eagle County Democrats, said that these sign wars happen every year during the height of election excitement.

“People just need to be respectful of other people’s private property,” she said. “If the signs don’t belong there, the town has the right to remove them and hopefully put them in a safe place for the candidate to retrieve them because they’re expensive.”

She said that in people get a little over-zealous and tend to put signs out every few feet.

“It’s just a function of their enthusiasm,” she said.


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