Libertarian Robert Fuller Responds
To City Council’s Latest Maneuvers:
I believe this is City Councils way of a last ditch effort to retain their office and they are running scared; and in doing so, taking the rights of candidates to spread their message of another way of doing business in this wonderful city we all love and call home.
Sam Talarico properly stated that if, "you are new candidate you can't afford billboards, you can't afford direct mail, you can get 250 signs made and get your name out," 'The amendment now will allow city employees to take down illegal signs and destroy them. The poster could also face a $50 fine.' Where is the fifty dollars collected per item assigned to go? By this proposed amendment to the sign ordinance, those who oppose the current Council members can't use the same tactics they used when they were elected.
Some of us have taken the time to actually walk our entire districts twice over and still have not met all of our constituents. In every tour of my future District of service for the people, I have encountered multiple situations where people were just not home or not able to talk with me at the time. Therefore, the signs are a primary source of reaching those we have not spoken to in person. Certain candidates have chosen to make this a race over money and prestige rather than truly getting to know the people they potentially will represent. We can't all afford radio and television air time, to which, all we have left to get our message across is our signs and fliers.
So who is wronged here? The people are, because they all are not able to be made aware of all options before they vote! It is a proven fact that the incumbent City Council members had and still has such signs posted in certain areas and just like the incumbent council is serving in gerrymandered districts to improve their individual outcomes on election day, this is a attack on the civic discourse and civil liberties of all candidates and the people.
My incumbent opponent in the 5th District, Tim Pape, attempted to illustrate the use of signs as cop out for not, going "to front doors,...(getting) on the phone rather than just plastering your name in the right-of-way," As a matter of environmental concern, sticking a rack card on a door (rather than handing them directly to a resident) that will just get thrown away or discarded on the ground, like a pizza place door hanger, is more of a nuisance than a sign that is posted in a right of way that directs them to a website to find out more information from each of the candidates.
These signs are a great avenue of simple communication of ideas in the marketplace without spending enormous amounts of money and littering our skyline with gigantic billboards. Elections should be about who can serve the people better not whom can raise and spend the most money!
Council Member Dr. John Crawford declared emphatically, "It's always been against the law to put signs in the right-of-way, but it's never been enforced,"
If the law has always been on the books that means that every incumbent member has also violated the ordinance. I would like to know are the incumbent members going to pay the fine for past and current transgressions of the ordinance. Why are they in such a rush to get it done before November except to hamper their opposition and the people from making an informed decision?
Mr. Robert Fuller,
City Council of Fort Wayne
Source article from WANE-TV News Channel 15.