Hesperia has been overwhelmed with political signs; They’re everywhere you look, ranging from huge monolithic ones to small pieces of plastic blowing in the wind.
Outside of our primary elections, every two years our community has the obligation and opportunity to elect individuals to oversee the workings of Hesperia City, Hesperia Unified School District and Hesperia Recreation and Park District. In this year’s election cycle, each of the elected bodies will have three seats up for grabs.
For those that want to complain about the order of the candidates listed below, the order was again selected by the ballot draw that is done by the Secretary of State
- On Hesperia City Council we have Bill Holland, Anthony Rhoades, James Roberts, Paul Russ, Cody Gregg, Russell Blewett, Stirling Christiansen and Christopher Elvert.
- For Hesperia School Board we have Eric Swanson, Kelly Gregg, Maria Gomez, Hardy Black, Niccole Childs and Marcy Kittinger.
- For the Hesperia Recreation and Park District we have Jack Hamilton, Rebekah Swanson, Michael Limbaugh and Kelly Gregg.
- On Victor Valley College Board we have Dennis Henderson, Lorrie Denson, Marianne Tortorici, Adele Turner-McClain and Brandon Wood.
Each of the above candidates are looking for your vote this November 4th, 2014, votes that are, in part, facilitated by political signs that promote name recognition. The city and county do have code restrictions that the candidates are supposed to follow; code restrictions that, as we can see, are often ignored
Our Hesperia is not writing this article to attack the candidates that have put up sign or pushed the legal limit, but to give the community additional information on what this 60 to 70 day window means to the residents of Hesperia and Oak Hills, as well as to Victorville’s Golden Triangle area across the I-15 freeway.
Our Hesperia believes that candidates should be responsible for their actions in reference to their political signs, and how they do- or don’t- follow code:
From Chapter 16.36.090 of Hesperia City Code . . .
- Political signs may be displayed up to sixty (60) days before a scheduled election and must be removed within fifteen (15) days after the election.
- Political signs may be placed in the public right-of-way, subject to certain exceptions to ensure safety:
- Political signs are not permitted in median strip areas.
- Political signs must be freestanding and are not permitted on traffic signs, trees, shrubs, bus stops, power poles, utility cabinets or other public appurtenances.
- Political signs may not be placed within fifty (50) feet of an intersection and no closer than six feet from the curb. Where no curb exists, signs shall be at least ten feet from the edge of pavement.
- Political signs may not be located within any clear-sight triangle and may not obstruct any regulatory sign or traffic signal. In no case shall any political sign be placed where it will obstruct or impede traffic visibility.
- Political signs may not be placed on city or other public property outside of city right-of-way, such as parks, buildings, facilities or appurtenant landscaped areas.
- Political signs may be up to thirty-two (32) square feet in area and six feet in height.
- All political signs on private property must be authorized by the property owner.
Now, as we know what the rules are, there are many of you that may be thinking about a specific sign that may not meet city or county code, but Our Hesperia is trying to look beyond this by understanding that the signs are a product of free speech and a method of promoting name recognition for the candidate.
With the right of free speech and the legal right to place signs across our community there comes responsibility, and Our Hesperia would like to suggest a few questions for the community to ponder;
- Does the message fit the community viewpoint?
- Did the candidate or their sign installation team show the correct moral compass when it comes to abiding by Hesperia’s city or county code?
- Have signs been placed intentionally to block other candidates’ signs?
- How many signs does a candidate need to place to gain name recognition in the community?
- And who will or won’t remove their signs after Election Day?
And there are vast number of questions that many of you would wish to add to the above list. We, the voters, can look back at both the track records and achievements of our current elected officials to help us decide to re-elect, but we have very little time to assess the unknowns of the newer candidates and political sign will not fill this void of knowledge with catchy phases.
Our Hesperia believes that there is something to be said about a candidate in their method of presenting a message to the community. Do sloppy or trashy signs indicate what a candidate thinks of our community? Maybe; or, maybe not, but Our Hesperia does recognize the improper sign placement and unprofessional looking signs take away from the look and feel of our community.
Candidates, remember; attaching your sign to someone’s structure or chain-link fence, as well as respecting Hesperia sign code rules and sign appearance, can paint a very distinct picture of what you think of your community.
Now as most of Hesperia has received their “Sample Ballot and Information Pamphlets” we can start bring to light who can take our community to the levels we want to achieve.
When it comes time to vote, remember never vote for who you don’t know, you could very well be making it worse. Find out who the candidates are, what they have done, and what they can do for you, then make the choice.
In the days to come I will be presenting Our Hesperia’s take on who (candidates) can help our community achieve the great heights that we wish to reach and also trying to understand the wide viewpoints of Measure M.