Political signs lead to complaints in Sugarcreek Twp.

Complaints about political signs lining the roads in Sugarcreek Twp. have prompted a special meeting with the trustees this week.

Trustees will meet in an open session at 9 a.m. Thursday to discuss whether political and other types of signs will be permitted in the right-of-ways of township roads.

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Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Ellis is expected to attend the meeting to provide legal advice to the trustees.

Ohio law states that signs, regardless of their purpose, cannot be placed in right-of-ways or attached to signs and posts in public space. Political signs and signs of other sorts can be posted on private property with the owner’s permission.

While there are signs posted near roadways for and against school board candidates running in the November election, there are also other signs in the same space advertising fundraising efforts, garage sales and basketball sign-ups.

The issue was never a problem in the past, according to Township Administrator Barry Tiffany, but hundreds of signs are lining the roads leading up to the November election.

The heated campaigns for the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school levy in the spring and the current school board race have led to complaints from residents about the signs, Tiffany said.

Residents brought complaints to the trustees during their meeting last week. Specifically, complaints were lodged against signs campaigning against incumbent school board candidates that state “Drain the swamp.”

“The quantity of the signs this year is extensive,” Tiffany said. “The content seems to be what pushes a lot of people.”

Resident Jason Laveck and Doug Wade spoke to News Center 7’s Kayla Corvell about the issue.

Laveck said the “Drain the Swamp” signs initially confused people, thinking the signs were for the candidates when they were actually against them.

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“It looks kind of junky and trashy to have hundreds of signs in a row on the road,” Laveck said. “There’s also the question of there being signs that are in poor taste. Trashing other candidates. I don’t believe that’s right or that those should be up there. I haven’t seen anything like that in the area before, so It was kind of a shock to the community.”

Wade said he’d like to see a compromise and have a space designated for posting signs of all sorts.

“It’s a tricky thing because you have to obey the law. If they don’t, they could be fined,” Wade said.


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