City officials on Wednesday issued a press release pointing out that the city did have certain guidelines and City codes applying to the use and placement of temporary campaign signs on Mercer Island.
The City of Mercer Island, like many cities in the state, regulates
where and how large temporary signs can be placed — such as the
ever-present "sandwich board".
Mercer Island does allow campaigns to place signs in the right-of-way, most noticeably on the Island Crest Way/Interstate 90 on-and off-ramp through the Town Center area, which is typically covered with dozens of signs every November (more of those rules on size and placement of signs can be found on the city's website).
The city also allows an exemption for political signs in the city's sign
ordinance, which sets a 90-day limit for displaying temporary signs as
spelled out in Mercer Island Municipal Code 19.06.020 § 6 — though that regulation is lightly enforced. Campaign signs began appearing in late June on Mercer Island's thoroughfares, at least 100 days before Election Day on Nov. 5, 2013.
Also unlike other neighboring towns, city hall won't fine campaigns which fail to remove signs in the 48 hours following the General Election. In fact, the city will clear up the mess free-of-charge.Officials says the city prefers to rely on a "good neighbor" policy, rather than levy fines. On the city's website, political campaigns are asked to take down the signs within 48 hours of an election. The city typically waits about a week for campaigns to collect them, and then a city employee is sent out for part of the day to collect the stragglers as a service to the community. Political campaign signs picked up by City are then available at the City Hall's loading dock for the campaign committee to pickup.
The city encourages residents to directconcerns or complaints to the appropriate campaign committee(s). Otherwise, citizens can call the Code Compliance Officer at 206-275-7709.