Myrtle Beach city crews trashing campaign signs placed illegally

Myrtle Beach city crews trashing campaign signs placed illegally

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Whether citizens love it or hate it, the country is in the midst of a political season.

For the next six months leading up to the general election, more and more political signs will be seen as candidates try to solicit votes.

The rules for those signs are clear, but that doesn't mean political candidates follow them.

"They can't be any bigger than four feet inside the city, and they have to be on private property," said Mark Kruea, spokesperson for the city of Myrtle Beach. "You can't put them on public property, you can't put them in the median, you can't put them on the sidewalks or on the side of the road and you can't staple them to a telephone poll."

Most of the political candidates, both local and national, have a team of volunteers, or a company they pay, to put out their campaigns signs.

Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said they often times have difficulty finding the exact person responsible for putting signs in illegal places.

Kruea said crews spent most of Friday picking up signs that were illegally placed throughout the city. A truck filled will them was head to the dumpster.

"The people that are putting them out need to realize it is not going to be there very long if you put it in an illegal place," Kruea said.

Myrtle Beach ordinances state political signs can not partially or fully block any driver's vision at an intersection. The signs are also not allowed on public land, publicly-owned land, right-of-ways or utility poles.

"Usually the utility poles are at edge of the of the public right- of-way, so if it's inside the utility poles then it's on public property," Kruea said.

The same rules apply for Horry County. The ordinance states political or campaign signs are subject to seizure and permanent disposal if they are placed within a public right-of-way or attached to trees, fences or utility poles.

WMBF News received concerns about unwanted political signs in their yards. Horry County Police Lt. Raul Denis said a homeowner has the right to notify that specific campaign if a sign was placed in their yard without consent or permission.

Denis added the property owner should document when the sign was placed in their yard and when they notified the campaign. If the problem persists, a homeowner can notify police or file a report for trespassing.

Some candidates said it can be an honest mistake on the volunteers' part,

Bourcier said since there are so many volunteers with the local and national campaigns it happens more often.

However, Kruea said unwanted signs on private property within the city limits could result in littering fines for those responsible.

"We certainly will talk with the campaigns and say, 'Look, we are picking up all of your signs because you put them in illegal places and you put them on the public right-of -way,'" he said.

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