Signs are often a large percentage of a campaign budget; they can also be the most labor intensive for your volunteers. From the construction to delivering to supporters. From installing in public areas according to city bylaws to the follow up maintenance. Everyone knows you will lose some to weather conditions and petty vandalism. It would appear though, that a bizarre phenomenon has occurred to my signs in the last 48 hours.
I did not have my signs out the first week of the campaign; it takes a while for donations to come in and then production time to create them. So they have been out for roughly two weeks. Today I got a call from volunteers that my signs on XX Street were down. Now that is not unusual; it was windy yesterday. Then another call and another and yet another. Plus one is telling me; they are not just “down”, they are “gone.”
I find this rather difficult to believe, it is on a road I travel frequently and I know they were there yesterday. It is late, I tell my volunteers to go home and I head to the location with my son to check it out. Sure enough, there is no sign of the signs. Not blown down with the wind; not broken off by vandals; just plain “gone.” So we replace them with new ones.
As we return to our vehicle my son says; “Here’s your sign.” Sure enough at a nearby building; in a pile of debris, is my sign….and a few feet further another, and another. We recovered half of those missing signs. Sadly as we went to the other locations we were not so lucky. By the end of the night the tally of signs lost is close to forty.
Sign story #2
In our rounds this evening we spotted a home that had a sign for nearly every party on its lawn. Now dueling spouses does happen, but three different supporters in one household is unusual. These are constituents I must meet. The conversation goes something like this:
Jane Morgan: “Hi, I am Jane Morgan. I am running in the election and I am a little surprised at the variety of signs on your yard.”
Constituent: “So am I.”
Jane Morgan; “Pardon me?”
Constituent; “Everyday I come home and there is another one.”
Jane Morgan: “Are you saying they didn’t ask your permission?”
Constituent: “Nope. In fact I called the Liberals and told them to remove it. They told me it is outside of property line and is on public space.”
Jane Morgan: “Well it certainly looks like it is in your yard.”
Constituent: “I know and everyone thinks is support them. Who are you running for?”
Jane Morgan: “The Wildrose Alliance.”
Constituent: “Well go for it. You are the only one who has come to my door.”
Sign story #3
I wasn’t even going to comment on this one; but after today’s events I have changed my mind. On Tuesday I noticed nearly all of my fellow candidates in Calgary North Hill had signs popping up on public areas on Centre St. and 14 St. I gave each of my sign volunteers a copy of the restricted list and I know these two streets are completely off limits. On Wednesday I call the city of Calgary 311 line; thinking perhaps I have missed some “exception.”
My call was answered promptly and after some brief research the representative confirms they are indeed restricted streets. She tells me if I have the exact address, I could lodge a complaint. I say, “Well there are several and frankly I don’t have time for that.” Out of curiosity I ask how long would it take for that type of concern to be addressed? They try to resolve within 21 days.
So there you have it; if you are going to break city bylaws pertaining to election signs, do it in the last 21 days of the campaign.
And no, you will not see any of my signs on either of these streets.
While I certainly have my own opinion on the above, the "lady" in me is saying,
"Follow Thumper's motto."
Readers comments are welcome.
They will be reviewed by either myself or Mike, my campaign manager.