McCullagh: Scottsdale political signage has reached disproportionate levels

Scottsdale City Council candidates are making their case to voters for how they will make Scottsdale more livable. They begin by littering the streetscape and public open space with campaign signs.

Ron McCullagh

In fairness, Councilman David Smith appears to be the exception. Once again, he will campaign without the use of political signs on public property. He said if you see his sign, you may assume it is on private property, with the owner’s permission and endorsement.

Granted, free speech is a core value in a free society. But, it is not a license to trash public property or shift the financial burden of political campaigns from politicians to the public. Print media, television, radio, e-mail, social media, postal services, candidate forums and signs on private property all help to ensure freedom of speech.

Scottsdale taxpayers don’t understand the logic of spending millions of dollars annually to maintain public spaces in pristine condition, only to have them deliberately trashed by self-serving politicians who promise to make the city more livable.

Then, residents try to explain the blight to their visiting friends and relatives, who view with astonishment the proliferation of political street signs that are no longer tolerated in their hometowns. Friends of the Scenic Drive in north Scottsdale have made it clear that they will not support candidates who place signs on their scenic corridor.

But, all Scottsdale residents take similar pride in their own neighborhoods and deserve similar consideration.
Political street signs are unsightly, unsafe and unnecessary. They are an eyesore, obstruct drivers’ line of sight, while communicating little or no meaningful information.

If you are weary of six months every two years, during which you must endure thousands of political street signs on our streetscape and open spaces, tell the candidates at the ballot box.

Editor’s note: Mr. McCullagh is a resident of Scottsdale and former member of Scottsdale City Council

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