Friday, June 25, 2010

First piece of business

Later this week Trenton will have a new city council and a new mayor.

We’ve already been treated to a taste of the new crew’s form with the flap over who may be chosen to preside over council and how that decision was arrived at. Let’s give the players in our divine comedy the benefit of the doubt and assume that this week’s missteps are due to a little bit of stage fright as our elected officials approach the date of their swearing in. And let’s assume once the ceremony is behind them, our council will get down to serious business.

And one thing they can do is adopt an ordinance aimed at keeping our city free of extraneous signs, posters and handbills while providing for a modest revenue stream.

We don’t write or speak fluent legal/legislative-ese so the following suggested law may need to be translated into the appropriate verbiage.

“Effective immediately upon adoption by council, the city of Trenton will charge $1.00 each for the removal and disposal of any/all illegally placed signs. This would apply to all campaign signs for candidates running for any public office; any political action, candidate committee, political party or public question signs; it would also apply to signs promoting cultural events (are you listening “Art All Night?”), civic events or commercial establishments/events. This law applies to any/all such signage placed on public utility poles, public property, and private property without the owners express permission. “

“The fines for the removal of these signs will be assessed to the offending party promoted by the sign: candidate, committee, and business, etc. and payable immediately upon presentation of bill for services from the City of Trenton. In the case of political committees, the treasurer of record will be held personally liable for the fines if the entity cannot pay.”
This law should not meet with any resistance from any of our council people…especially those who have campaigned for a cleaner city (and some of whose signs were removed from telephone polls by city employees) or who have a clear understanding of the laws regarding placement of political after having served on the county election board for years.
By coupling enforcement with a fine, it should discourage the cobbling up of the capital city with handbills for club events (especially those promoting things like ‘stank butt Friday’ etc.) and make those offenders who think nothing of littering the city pay for their mistake.

All those in favor say, "Aye!"

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