It’s Santa Clarita’s “jail” for wayward campaign signs, and over the weekend it got about 15 more “prisoners.”
Dan Rivas, the city’s community preservation manager, stood at a city yard on Springbrook Avenue and Bouquet Canyon Road on Monday and surveyed a pile of 156 political signs from the recent campaign, after the city made its final sweep over the weekend of placards placed illegally on public property.
“We probably picked up about 15 signs over weekend, and that’s really good — I expected there to be more,’’ said Rivas.
“As far as we’re aware, all the signs in the city have been removed, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few stragglers.”
The city has strict rules about where political signs can be placed during campaigns – private property only, not on public rights of way.
The vast majority of the signs currently incarcerated at the city yard were picked up during the campaign season, for violating that public right-of-way rule, Rivas said. The ones swept up over the weekend were signs that were missed by the city’s posse.
Rivas said he did not keep a scorecard on which candidates were the biggest violators, though he did say, “This year was better — fewer signs were placed out in the public right of way.’’
During the campaign, the rule-breaking signs were scooped up by the city and detained at the Springbrook yard. The candidates were notified and told to either claim them – for a $50 first-offense fine — or the signs would be stored by the city until after the election, when they could be reclaimed for free.
In all, Rivas said, about 300 were taken down by the city, with about 150 either claimed by a candidate, post-election, or already discarded for lack of a response by the candidate.
No fines were issues this year, he said, as no candidate reclaimed a sign during the election season.
Candidates have 10 days from when they are notified to claim the signs before the city discards them, Rivas said.
Post-election, the candidates, winners and losers alike, are tasked to handle the cleanup themselves.
Signs placed on private property must also be removed within 10 days of the election, or the violators would be cited, Rivas said.