Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Subdivision Signs: Good or Bad?

The April 3 city election is fast approaching, but Don Prinster can't put up a sign in his front yard supporting a friend's race for alderman because his subdivision — like many across the metro area — doesn't allow it.
That would change statewide for future elections under a bill proposed by a legislator from nearby O'Fallon. The measure, by Republican Rep. Kurt Bahr, would prevent homeowners associations from enforcing or adopting bans on political signs.

"Should a private organization allow you to contract away constitutionally protected inherent rights?" Bahr asked.

If his proposal passes, subdivisions could still prohibit signs larger than 4 feet by 6 feet and restrict them to between 90 days before an election and 10 days after.

"It's a freedom of speech issue," Prinster said. "With a reasonable time limit, I don't see any problem." Prinster does have a campaign sign for his friend Rod Stratman in his window, which is allowed in his subdivision, Highland Estates.

Bahr said he became interested in the issue after a supporter living in the WingHaven development in O'Fallon was told he couldn't have a yard sign during his first race for the House in 2010.

Laws similar to Bahr's proposal are in effect in 10 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bahr's legislation has little appeal for David Fine, who is on the three-member homeowners association board in Prinster's subdivision.

Fine said he was unaware of the bill's details but doesn't like it "anytime big government comes in."

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:20 PM

    People like to invoke “constitutional rights” free speech; freedom of expression, which isn’t even stated in the constitution, and various other already badly distorted provisions from the Bill of Rights to justify what they want to do. Liberals have twisted our Constitution so out of shape that the founding fathers wouldn’t recognize it as the document that they so carefully crafted. The fact is none of our rights are without limits. The right to keep and bare arms doesn’t give us the right to own a machine gun or bazooka our to walk down the street with the Big Iron on our hips. When I was young we were taught that the right to free speech didn’t give us the right to yell fire in a crowded theater. The right to freedom of the press still doesn’t give us the right to print lies .
    At this rate it won’t be long before we’re all so free that no one will be free. As a great Vulcan scientist will say in about two hundred years “ Sometimes the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few, or the one” .