Signs of clutter? Ordinance requires removal of political signsPublished 12:07am Monday, July 23, 2012
NATCHEZ — More than a month after the city’s general election and two months after the second Democratic primary, campaign signs can still be spotted around the city.
Mayor Butch Brown said he has been receiving calls from residents complaining about the remaining campaign signs, and Brown is asking all former candidates to remove their signs.
According to the city’s sign ordinance, campaign signs must be removed seven days after the election.
Political banner signs are hung with permits issued by the city’s planning and zoning department. Permits are granted for no more than 30 days.
Brown said he does not want to issue code violations to former candidates with signs still remaining around the city.
“I’ve been getting calls about it and noticed some myself,” he said. “I don’t want to make it an issue. I would hope there would be voluntary compliance; we’re not trying to collect money from defeated candidates.”
Brown said before there is another election, Natchez will have a better sign ordinance that clearly defines stipulations for political signs and banners, banners for events, placards and other signs. He said candidates will also be given plenty of notice and explanation on what is in the city’s sign ordinance.
“I want people to know what the ordinance is, so the people can know when (the signs) can go up and when they’re supposed to come down,” he said.
Several complaints caused the city to enforce its sign code after the fact during this year’s elections.
Former City Planner Natchez City Planner Bob Nix told the Natchez Board of Aldermen at an April meeting that the city has a history of spotty enforcement of the city’s sign code, except for the prohibition of signs on public property and rights-of-way.
Nix said after the meeting that the code was not enforced at the beginning of the campaign due to a miscommunication he had with former city attorney Everett Sanders.