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Thieves steal City Council campaign signage

Posted: March 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The theft of political signs has cost at least one Santa Clarita City Council candidate hundreds of dollars, he said Tuesday, and the election is nearly three weeks away.

Three of five candidates for the two open seats reported Tuesday they have had signs stolen or vandalized.

"We do not know who is stealing the signs," said challenger TimBen Boydston, who reported having to replace six large signs valued at several hundred dollars.

"When we catch someone stealing our signs, we will have them prosecuted."

Challenger Jon Hatami reported five to 10 of his smaller yard signs have been taken since last week. He said he's disappointed in the thefts, but chalks it up to the nature of politics.

"As long as it doesn't reach the level of the graffiti, I'm just going to say it's just part of the nature of the game," Hatami said.

"It's disappointing that people are running around stealing other people's signs."

Incumbent Bob Kellar also reported the theft of one large sign, but added that a resident in the Valencia neighborhood where it went missing called him Tuesday morning and told him that his children found the sign in a wash.

Kellar said he was going to pick up the sign - which he said was worth about $100 - and put it back up.

The sign was the first big one he's had stolen, Kellar said, although some smaller ones were taken in past elections.

"I have never felt that anybody has gone out to take and deface signs," Kellar said. "I think the community has been fair."

Mayor Laurie Ender, who is also seeking re-election, said she wasn't aware of any signs stolen this election, but it's happened in the past. "Signs are taken down, signs are defaced," Ender said. "It's part of the process."

Ed Colley, the third challenger in the race, said he hasn't had any signs stolen - he hasn't put any up for this election.

"I don't know if I've ever heard of a local campaign where this has not been an issue," Colley said.

In the case of Boydston and Hatami, at least some of the signs that disappeared were taken away by city employees.

Jessica Jackson, a city spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Tuesday that Hatami and Boydston have both been issued warnings for having signs in the public right of way.

The city's Community Preservation Division removed the signs and contacted the candidates so they could pick them up.

If candidates want to replace their signs, staff can advise them on locations that don't interfere with the public's right of way, Jackson said.


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