Thursday, January 27, 2022

Uninformed Accusations

Recent Letter to the Editor writer, Mr. Bill Harris, boldly stated that the City of Marco Island shows favoritism to city council candidates Swiacki, Richards and Young, by allowing them to place their campaign signs in the swales/right of way.

He asks, why would anyone vote for a candidate who has no regard for laws, suggests that the candidates may break laws if elected, and states the candidates are lacking in character. Mr. Harris’s questions and comments are not correct.

City of Marco Island Sign Ordinance 18-11 states that in residential districts, signs may be placed in the public right-of-way between 7 am and 6 pm, 60 days prior to an election and seven days after.

Rest easy Mr. Harris, you no longer need to be “deeply disturbed.” The City is not showing favoritism and the candidates are not breaking laws. It would be nice if you would inform your friends, apologize to the City, and apologize to the candidates for your uninformed, unkind, and incorrect accusations.

Ray Seward

Marco Island

One response to “Uninformed Accusations”

  1. Bill Harris says:

    Citizen Seward, we are in agreement for a SMALL part of your letter. However, you neglected salient points in your opinion. Yes, 18-11 allows political signs in the city right of way in residential districts. What you purposely fail to mention is that signs may only be placed in the public right of way between 7 AM and 6 PM. Signs must also be set back at least ten feet from the edge of the pavement of any adjacent public street and where sidewalks are present must be set back five feet from the sidewalk. I have observed, on numerous occasions, the signs for candidates Young, Swiacki and Richards in the public right of way well after 6 PM. And for those signs posted at vacant lot right of ways, who is responsible for removing them at 6 PM? Many of those owners do not live here or are away for several months. Finally, if we are to have rules and ordinances, we should enforce them fairly, equally and consistently. If we are not to enforce them, there is no reason whatsoever to have them.
    Section 106.1435, Florida Statutes. Signs placed on the State, County or City rights of way – Political campaign signs may not be placed on any state, county or city rights of way. [State law has precedence over city law].
    The elections end today, but get your facts straight prior to the next election.

    Bill Harris

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