Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — Just weeks away from the General Election, the village of New Boston is still battling political signs that are in violation of a village ordinance limiting how large political signs can be. The village administrator has a solution to the problem:
Just do away with the ordinance.
Village Administrator and Code Enforcement Agent Steve Hamilton said whether its on public or private property, Village Ordinance 1341.03 limits the size of political signs in New Boston to not larger than 16-square-feet. But for weeks, Hamilton says he has been receiving anonymous phone calls from people complaining about the size of political signs appearing in New Boston. Most of the time he can simply call the candidate and they will come and replace the sign with something smaller, he said.
This week a large tractor trailer, much larger than 16-square-feet, was parked along Rhodes Avenue in New Boston with a political banner strung across the side. Hamilton said even though it is a truck, it counts as a billboard and so it is a violation of the village ordinance. Other signs are also still appearing in the village, in violation of the ordinance.
When asked if he has contacted anyone to have the signs removed, Hamilton said New Boston Mayor James Warren is taking care of that. But still, signs keep appearing in the village.
“I’m getting put down the road because I’m a code enforcement officer and they’re saying I’m not following through with my job, and I am,” Hamilton said. “I got to go by the ordinance, which says 16-feet for political signs. No billboards. I’ve got go by the ordinance, and if somebody is going against that, I’ve got to do my job.”
Hamilton said he has a simple solution to the problem.
“Get rid of the ordinance,” he said. “Get rid of the 16-square-foot ordinance, like everyone else in the whole county and Portsmouth, and just let them put their 4-by-8 signs up, or however they want to do it. They’re only allowed putting them up, I think, 60 days before the election, and they got to have them down by seven days afterwards.”
He said the time that he spends enforcing political sign limits is time taken away from other, more important responsibilities — like dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency for sewer assistance.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.