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On Mercer Island, City 'Asks' Politicians to Remove Signs

Unlike many other neighboring cities and towns, politicians and initiative supporters on Mercer Island are not required by law to remove signs after the November General Election.

Now that voters have cast their ballots for the General Election, officials are asking local campaigns to remove political signs — or they'll simply do it for them for free.

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". But unlike other neighboring towns, city hall won't fine violators. In fact, they'll clear up the mess free-of-charge.

The city 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.

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.

If residents still see campaign signs, city hall is encouraging them to contact the appropriate campaign, or contact the city's Code Enforcement Officer at 206-275-7709.

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