POMONA — At least one sign in Pomona is in violation of a city ordinance relating to political signs, a city official said Friday.
Kim Giffin, Pomona’s zoning commissioner, said a sign relating to the highly contentious West Franklin school bond election is on display about 13 days too early.
“There’s been a couple calls to the city and a couple people voicing their concerns about the legality of some signs,” Griffin, who has been with the city for about three years, said. “I don’t think there will be any problems in taking it down and complying with the ordinance, and then they can put it back up when the time comes. ... [The bond election] is a sensitive issue for some people and an emotional one, regardless of what side you’re on.”
Giffin said he called the League of Kansas Municipalities a few days ago to re-familiarize himself with Pomona’s statutes regarding political signs. Political signs in Pomona, he said, must be 2 feet by 3 feet or smaller, off public property and displayed no sooner than 45 days before an election. Also, all political signs must be removed from private property two days after the election.
In all unincorporated parts of Franklin County — which would not include areas within Pomona — political signs can be displayed as many as 90 days before an election, Larry Walrod, the county’s planning director said.
“Typically our biggest problem is that [political signs] have been placed along the right-of-ways,” Walrod said, adding that signs in unincorporated parts of the county can be as large as 6 feet by 6 feet.
West Franklin’s $14.3 million bond issue is set for a mail-in ballot election June 4.
West Franklin patrons recently elected four new members to the district’s seven-member board of education. But regardless of its new composition, the school board cannot stop the bond issue vote, Dotson Bradbury, West Franklin schools superintendent, said previously.
“While the [school board] election is held in April, new board members do not officially take office until the first school board meeting, which would be the second Monday in July,” Bradbury said. “The bond election is in June, so whatever action the voters take — whether to approve a bond issue or not to approve a bond issue — that measure would stand. ... They could not overturn what the voters have decided.”
If approved, the bond would help finance an estimated $16-million project to improve West Franklin’s middle and high schools and provide a centralized campus for all district schools. If the bond is passed, the district would commit about $1.7 million in remaining costs using existing capital improvement funds, Bradbury said.
The bond offer would budget for classroom additions, renovations of existing buildings, a new gym, weight room, vocational/agricultural education, a wood shop building, an eight-lane competition track and parking lot improvements, according to West Franklin’s website. The improvements also would connect the campus buildings.