VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Illegally placed election signs have cost one city in Hampton Roads nearly $4,000 to remove.
Residents and election officials are not allowed to post signs on public property in Virginia Beach.
"It's definitely probably the worst year we've had since probably even the previous presidential elections," Virginia Beach Zoning Supervisor Kevin Hershberger said. "They put them on city property and in places that's just not appropriate to do.
Herschberger says problems arise when signs blow away, especially when they are placed in medians, which is illegal.
"Then we've got a bunch of wires in the medians that you can't see and the guys who do the mowing and try to walk through the medians have some troubles with them unfortunately," Herschberger told WAVY.com. "That's just during our daily normal work procedures. Instead of, you know, taking care of some other complaint or some other situation, they're spending their time picking up signs."
Beach resident Keith Crawford is not thrilled with the $3,800 price tag that has come with election sign pickup.
"That's a lot of money," Crawford said. "That's a lot of taxpayers' money and I think that money should be spent somewhere else, not just for those signs going up like that."
For the safety of residents and the protection of city equipment, the signs must be removed and Hershberger says all parties are told at the beginning of the election season the rules of posting signs.
"On your private property, you can have an 8 square foot sign if it's residential. If it's commercial, it can be 32 square foot. As long as they're on your property, we're happy and everybody's comfortable," Herschberger said.
Spokespeople for the cities of Norfolk, Suffolk and Newport News told WAVY.com they have not had many problems with illegally placed signs this election season. A spokesperson for Portsmouth told WAVY.com the city has had to remove hundreds of signs, but much like Virginia Beach, no overtime is spent.
The Republican Party of Virginia released the following statement in response to our story:
"While we understand that the enthusiasm for the Romney/Ryan, Allen, Rigell ticket is extremely high in Virginia Beach this year. The Republican Party of Virginia, as always, encourages our supporters to comply with local rules in placing yard signs."
Phone calls to the Democratic Party of Virginia were not returned.
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