New law clears roadways of campaign signs


By Steve Limtiaco | Pacific Daily News


It now is illegal for political candidates to set up campaign signs on public property.


Gov. Eddie Calvo signed into law a bill by Sen. Tommy Morrison, R-Umatac, that allows campaign signs to be erected only on private property, at least eight feet from the road, and in a way that does not impede traffic or driver visibility.


The new law exempts political signs put up temporarily for roadside waving.


Under the old law for political signs, candidates were allowed to place signs on public property after applying to the Department of Public Works and paying a $100 fee and a $200 deposit.


Signs could be posted on public property, except for government buildings, trees, fences, utility poles, guardrails and within 100 feet of the entrance to a public school or intersections. The old law also prohibited signs from being placed on public property earlier than 60 days before a primary or special elections.


“We agreed that excessive and poorly maintained signs are dangerous, and that elections should be a competition of solutions to various issues, not a contest focused on the size and quantity of signs,” Morrison said in a written statement after the law was signed.


“With P.L. 34-67, this government is prioritizing the safety of our people and Guam’s fragile tourism industry – before politics.”


During an August public hearing for the bill, former Sen. Bob Klitzkie testified, saying, “Not only do the political signs constitute eyesores, visual pollution or highway blight, they are also a safety hazard. A traffic fatality in Yigo several years ago arguably had a political signs dimension. Not only are the political signs ugly and unsafe, they are unnecessary.”


Elections bill


Calvo vetoed a separate bill related to Guam elections, that was intended to move up the date of the Primary Election by several weeks to give the Guam Election Commission more time to prepare for the General Election.


Calvo said he vetoed the bill by Sen. Mary Torres, R-Santa Rita, because of inconsistent provisions. He said the bill, as written, provides two different deadlines for the filing of nominating petitions – 130 days before a Primary Election, and 160 days before a Primary election.


News by Pacific Daily News

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