The Madison County political season is in full swing. So, what rights do county employees have to promote candidates on county property?
For instance, can an employee park a car or truck with a big campaign sign on county property by a main highway? County commissioners discussed the issue April 2, coming to no clear conclusion. However, they agreed to talk about the matter again at an upcoming meeting.
Commissioner Mike Youngblood raised the issue as the board amended the county’s sign regulations. The board has agreed that political signs are no different than any other signs, allowing campaign signs to be as large as 64’ square feet in yards, or eight feet wide, by eight feet tall, which is the guideline for all signs.
Chip Chandler was the lone citizen to address the board on that matter, noting that 8X8 signs will “junk up some neighborhoods.”
Commissioner Stanley Thomas said that the high cost of such signs, which he said run around $100, will keep the quantity of big signs in check.
Commissioner John Pethel asked if there are any guidelines on how long such signs can remain. Political signs often remain on properties long after an election. County attorney Mike Pruett responded that “state law handles that.”
Youngblood then questioned whether political signs should be allowed on county employees’ vehicles while they’re at work.