Is this much ado about nothing?
|Trying to avoid this.|
There is a new ordinance, about a year old, that apparently the election office was not aware of and it is not part of the election code handbook. Ken is claiming that his supporters have been intimidated. He says that Sarnoff voted on this new rule of three month signs. And so what? The other four commissioners voted for it, too and if I was a commissioner, I would have voted in favor of it.
I like Ken, I really do, but is this an issue? If Ken can't have signs all over town, then neither can Sarnoff or anyone else. Isn't that fair? I personally think that three months is too long for those signs, all they do is litter the city and in many cases they are up for months after the election is over.
To be fair to Ken, he sent this email to Dwight at the elections department on May 26, 2015: "We are about to receive our printed yard signs. I was unable to find something specific in the handbook regarding the rules. I just want to make sure we do things right. Any info you can provide, or if you can point me in the right direction, that would be great."
Dwight replied that he could via a phone call and also sent Ken the city code which does not mention the three month period. Doesn't this make Dwight the person Ken should have an issue with? The law was passed at an open city meeting. It wasn't a secret and Dwight's department should have amended the rule book to include the new rule, which does exist.
"The rules that he gave us, including copies of the City code supplied to us did not have any time restraint on the placement of signs… only restraint was that signs needed to be removed 30 days after the election. Code Enforcement cannot contradict the electioneering department. And massive enforcement like this is not the result of a complaining neighbor. Someone high up filed a big complaint," says Ken. "And let's talk about the ordinance as well…. is it constitutional that anyone can tell someone else what they are allowed to place on their own personal property?" he asked.
Javier Gonzalez, also running for the District 2 seat, told me that Dwight's office called him and also Grace Solares, who is running, and they were told the three month rule and asked to remove their signs until August. They did.
I asked Mike Simpson about it, he is also running for the same seat. He knew about it, he sent me links to the whole thing here and here.
Rosa Palomino, also running for the same seat said, "Since Miami 21 became effective at the end of 2009, there has been a political sign ordinance. The commission elections of 2013 which included districts 3, 5 and the mayor's seat had a lot of discussion about signage. It was the first time the political sign ordinance was enforced and led to the removal of dozens of signs, particularly those of Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Francis Suarez."
Lorry Woods, also running for the same office, says she was aware of the regulations: "I was aware of the regulations and we're committed to complying with all regulations."
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