Election signs unsightly in Pitt Meadows

Candidates want more restrictions to keep city looking cleaner

Proliferation of election signs bothering some.

Proliferation of election signs bothering some.

Residents are fed up with election signs sprouting like weeds on every patch of green space in Pitt Meadows, and politicians agree that they have to be reigned in.

“It is worse than I’ve ever seen it,” said Coun. Gwen O’Connell. “I hate them.”

“I hear lots of complaints that they keep breeding.”

She and Coun. Janice Elkerton have been involved in local politics since 1993.

O’Connell said council should look at limiting the number of signs, restrict them to designated areas, or even consider eliminating them altogether.

Elkerton said it is seen as a pivotal election. With Mayor Deb Walters stepping down, and Coun. Doug Bing elected MLA, there are two seats at the table which are open.

“There are a lot more signs, and it’s all sides,” said Elkerton. “It has almost become environmental pollution.

“But I understand the need for new people to get their names out.”

She would support a limit on the number of signs a candidate can post, and limit them to private properties.

“Get out door knocking – that’s still the most effective,” suggested Elkerton.

Candidate Bill Dingwall brought the issue to council this week, saying the bylaw needs to be tightened.

“Make it much more restrictive,” Dingwall said of the city election sign bylaw. “It is really unsightly.”

He would like to see the bylaw changed to allow election signs no sooner than two weeks before the election

“If I’m elected, that’ll be one of the first things I bring forward.”

Council candidate Mike Stark also agreed the signs are unsightly, and would support some limits.

“There are no limits, and this year is ridiculous. It’s totally a sign war.”

Mayoralty candidate John Becker noted that limiting signs would favour incumbents, who already enjoy an advantage over new candidates in terms of name recognition.

He would support that signs be limited to private or business properties, rather than public properties.

“That’s a true measure of support.”