Election season ramps up in Rapides Parish, but residents wonder if there are too many signs

Published: Jul. 1, 2019 at 7:21 PM CDT
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Primary elections are three months away and here in Rapides Parish all eyes are on the sheriff's race.

With seven announced candidates and other races, campaign signs are popping up all over town. Viewers reached out to KALB concerned the signs are cluttering the community.

"I think there are a whole lot of signs up," said resident Judith Loyden.

"They are clutter after the campaign," said resident Jerry Burnman.

Some community members feel it's too much, too soon. A poll on our Facebook page revealed 89 percent of viewers agree.

"It's a necessary evil, I guess," said resident Seth Guillote.

Others are happy to see their options.

"Need to put more up so we can vote," said resident Shanbrica Washington. "That way we have a better place for you and me."

But, as campaign season ramps up, the City of Alexandria and City of Pineville want the community to know they do have rules for candidates to follow. Their biggest concern are signs that distract motorists.

Signs blocking the right of way, too close to the road or in medians will be removed.

Both city ordinances state signs exceeding 32 square feet may only be placed in business and commercial zoning districts.

The City of Alexandria goes further saying signs in residential areas may not exceed five square feet in area. Both said signs must be removed close to the general and/or run-off elections end. Alexandria gives 10 days, Pineville seven. Pineville also states signs should not go up more than 90 days prior to any primary or general election.

Pineville's Chief of Staff Rich Dupree said they try to keep up with signs.

"When it comes to signs everyone has a right to put it in their yard, within reason, who they are supporting," Dupree said.

He said residents with property on the street should make sure signs are on their side of the utility pole.

"You also have some businesses that love to put up multiple signs, supporting multiple candidates," Dupree said. "That is what I think really gets the ire of some people of how many signs they may see."

The City of Alexandria hears their fair share of complaints..

"We do get some complaints," said City Planning Director Robert Weeks. "The biggest complaints are at major intersections where there can be a little bit of clutter."

Weeks said they are willing to work with sign owners.

"It's a task," Weeks said. "While you don't want to seem overbearing, we definitely have to protect the integrity of our streets and our motorists for sure. If you have an issue, if you see something maybe in a place you don't want it to be, give us a call City of Alexandria Planning Department."

Both ask the candidates to be courteous and the public to be patient.

"You know the old adage signs don't vote, people do," Dupree said. "But, you would have a close competition right now between actually the number of people that may vote, versus signs all over Rapides Parish right now."

Copyright 2019 KALB. All rights reserved.

City of Alexandria: 318-473-1373

City of Pineville:  (318) 449-5658

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