From the Mayor’s press conference today …
Obviously, a lot of questions involve Eric Dick and what this new ordinance might mean since many of the signs his campaign has placed are on Centerpoint utility poles. There may be some outreach to help Centerpoint through the enforcement of those violations. I certainly wish the city all the luck in the world in increasing the amount of enforcement of this rule. Bonus kudos to Mayor Parker for acknowledging that there was even a sighting of a 2009 campaign sign of hers on a utility pole that would be taken down immediately.
The reality of this is that there is still a 24-hour window for the campaigns to remove the signage without incurring a penalty. So there’s no guarantee that this update will lead to seeing a campaign being fined. But it should hopefully lead to a little less blight being added to the scenery.
What’s more is that this doesn’t necessarily address the situation of Eric Dick’s campaign-funded cherry-picker approach to sign placement 20 feet up on utility poles. Nor does this address the issue of abandoned property being offered up for sign placement. The Houston Press, however, details a rather innovative approach to dealing with that problem. One interesting tidbit from the Press’ story is that the “newly defaced” Jenifer Poole sign was on one of the locations submitted to Empty Lot Primary three months ago. Back then, of course, it contained signage for both Poole and Dick, who are competing for the same position. This gets to one of my points for the absurdity of this form of permission-based sign placement: what does it really imply about a candidate when it can’t obviously be taken as an endorsement?
Either way, whether you’re concerned about those signs that break the law or those that clutter our streets and sightlines, it’s all good if the net effect is to convince candidates to leave signs off the junkier placements that serve no purpose.
UPDATE: BigJolly has a response from Eric Dick. Naturally, it involves a lot of lying and obfuscation. A more honest approach would be for him to state that the $5000+ he’s already reported for various sign placement expenses on his campaign reports aren’t leading to signs placed in yards of homes. So where could those signs possibly go and what was the $5000 paid to his family members for placing the signs really for if not to place them illegally on Centerpoint utility poles?