Election signs annoy residents

The Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office has been inundated with complaints about campaign signs in recent weeks.

"I always get some," said Lila Herod, deputy clerk. "But this year it seems to be a little nastier."

People complain the signs are too big or illuminated, thereby violating Craig or Moffat County zoning ordinances.

Herod and County Clerk Elaine Sullivan receive the calls even though their office has no jurisdiction over campaign signs. They read the respective ordinance to the caller, and then redirect the callers to the Craig Police Department or Moffat County Sheriff's Office to file complaints.

Craig's zoning ordinance defines a political sign as any temporary sign pertaining to any national, state or local election. Such signs, the ordinance stipulates, shall not exceed six square feet and shall be displayed no more than 30 days before an election and shall be removed no more than two days after an election.

But the callers the clerk and recorder refer to the police aren't following through on the referrals. City zoning officer Becky Otis said she has received only one complaint during the general election race and one during the primary election.

Both complaints regarded sign ordinance violations by Saed Tayyara and Stan Hathhorn, candidates for county commissioner in District 1.

It was the commissioner the candidates are seeking to replace that reported Hathhorn to the police. Marianna Raftopoulos complained that Hathhorn's signs violated the six square feet ordinance.

Hathhorn retorted that signs for Congressional District 3 candidate Greg Walcher, who Raftopoulos supports, also violated the ordinance.

Both campaigns removed their signs after they were notified of the violation, Otis said.

But Friday morning, a Hathhorn sign, 16 square feet in size, still stood along the vacant lot where the Cosgriff Hotel used to be.

During the primary election, Pam Foster, a Hathhorn supporter, reported Tayyara to police because two of his signs were left up past the two-day removal deadline. Tayyara removed the signs.

Most yard signs are 18 inches by 24 inches, well within city ordinance.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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