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Ghosts of elections past

Campaign signs still haunt SCV street corners and empty lots

Posted: November 5, 2009 9:05 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2009 8:00 a.m.

According to brightly colored signs left in empty lots across the Santa Clarita Valley, Paul Strickland still wants your vote for the Hart district board and Phil Ellis hopes to represent you on the Newhall School District board.

Nevermind that Election Day was Tuesday.

The election posters are the leftovers of some hard-fought campaigns that have yet to be taken down.

And while city officials and even some former candidates admit the signs have outlived their usefulness and now are a blight, a few stragglers remain on fences, street corners and lawns.

Some candidates spent a few days this week collecting the signs, but still have work to do.

"I have just one more area left," said Strickland, who ran for and won one of three open seats on the William S. Hart Union High School District board.

Strickland said he'll have the last of his roughly 500 signs cleaned up today from Canyon Country.

The large signs, like the one he had at the intersection of Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road, came down right after Election Day, he said.

Ellis, who won one of three open seats on the Newhall board, said he only had about 50 signs, many of which have come down.
He said he'll take the rest down today.

"A lot of them were taken down anyway," he said.

Candidates have until Wednesday to take their signs down, said Curtis Williams, supervising community preservation officer for the city.

"There are still a good number (of signs) that are out and about," he said.

Candidates who fail to collect their signs by Wednesday will receive a phone call from the city telling them where their signs are still up.

"Most of them are pretty good about taking them down," Williams said. "I think we're going to have a pretty good handle on it."

During election season, which will continue into April with the City Council race, the city will receive between two or three phone calls a week from concerned residents who want signs taken down, Williams said.

City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said members of the community take pride in their city and don't want to see the clutter and litter of old election signs.

It's a thought Ellis shares as he takes down the last of his signs.

"It does cause a visual blight and they serve a purpose," Ellis said. "And when the purpose is over, (the signs) should be taken down right away."


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