AKRON — Summit County Council on Monday night approved banning the posting of signs on property owned by or under the control of the county.
County Council member and Rules Committee chair Clair Dickinson (D-At Large) said the impetus for the legislation came from an abundance of political campaign signs posted on the Board of Elections’ Grant Street property during early voting for the 2016 general election.
“It was a mess,” said Dickinson, who noted at the committee meeting on Feb. 26 he worked with the Executive’s Office to craft the legislation. “It was an eyesore [and] causing all kinds of problems.”
Dickinson said the prohibition prevents organizations and businesses from placing signs on county land. Jason Dodson, chief of staff for Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, said the ban also prevent signs from being posted on devil strips associated with county property.
County officials noted that even with the ban, people will still be able to pass out handbills and carry signs on county property.
John Galonski, Assistant Prosecutor for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, said one reason the prohibition was allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court is “because it’s a safety issue” for vehicles pulling into and out of a site. The signs could affect a driver’s line-of-sight when they are trying to pull onto a roadway, according to Galonski.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.