Terry Wright

Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright

Every political season we end up handling complaints and issues in regards to political signs. There are usually one or two candidates, or their support, that violate sign requirements. Usually a call or contact is all that is needed to explain the rules and almost everyone is understanding and polite, even in a charged election period.

Each geographical government jurisdiction, city, county or state, can set their own rules but most, especially on rule, is pretty standard statewide. The Tillamook City Council, because of complaints and other issues a couple of years ago, set a size limit for signs. They are the governing body for the city and they have expectation that, once passed, these rules will be enforced. We try to use spirit of the law when possible, with ordinance enforcement, especially if it involves mere inches, but once a candidate indicates otherwise, we will then have to strictly enforce the city code.

The code section is 153.053 of the zoning code. Political signs are considered temporary signs and are located in 153.053 (14) (H).

Political signs are signs which support or oppose ballot measures, persons running for political office, and other issues subject to a vote by the public may be allowed, subject to the following:

1) Approval by the owner of the property on which the sign is posted.

2) Setbacks: Such signs may be located within the required setback area of the district, provided they are situated in a manner so as not to adversely affect safety, corner vision, or other similar conditions.

3) Size: Signs shall not exceed 16 square feet in size, as viewed from one direction.

4) Time Limits: All such signs shall be removed within one week after the election for which the sign is posted.

5) In addition, as a guideline and further nuisance ordinance violation, no signs shall be placed in any right of way.

So persons further understand, this is definitely not a planned priority for the Police Department. We are the city department that is best set up to deal with ordinance violations in the city, because of city wide staffing availability, enforcement process and ordinance. It is easiest for process, for the Police department to handle this and other ordinances, as time allows.

Person(s) running for an elected office almost always have nothing but best interest of the position, function, and community they want to represent and bring positive energy, enthusiasm, excitement and effort to the position once elected. I feel this is especially true within Tillamook City. It is somewhat understandable when once in a while, a candidate does not understand or does not make the effort to follow rules everyone has to follow.

Anyone can call or meet with me to go over restrictions, rules and even ideas to best utilize the process for advertising with signs in the city, be it political, special event or even garage sale signs. This city prides itself on not having signs posted all over, unlike other cities.

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