Ordinance revision allows longer sign time

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Candidates’ supporters will be allowed to keep their campaign signs up weeks longer until an ordinance change passed Tuesday by Natchez aldermen.

Previously, the city’s ordinance regarding campaign signs stated that such signs could only be displayed in the 60 days before an election and seven days after an election, even on private property.

With the change, city residents will now be allowed to put campaign signs up as soon as qualifying time ends, with signs still coming down seven days after an election.

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&uot;Sign size Š and the number of signs you can have up still apply,&uot; said City Attorney Walter Brown. &uot;The only change is how long you can have them up.&uot;

The catch: Qualifying for state and county offices ended March 1. But because the Board of Aldermen’s vote was not unanimous, the ordinance will not take effect until May 8.

&uot;If the vote’s unanimous, it is in effect from passage &045; but if not, you have to wait 30 days until it takes effect,&uot; said City Attorney Walter Brown.

Alderman Jake Middleton voted against changing the ordinance, saying signs that are left up too long could fall apart and litter yards and streets.

The change came two weeks after an aldermen meeting at which some residents said they believe restrictions on signs on private property violate free speech and property rights.