Protesters gathered at the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD administration building March 22. They were there to protest a recent incident in which a campaign sign had been removed without authorization.
GCISD board President Lisa Pardo said she had received a message from a property owner asking her to remove one of her two re-election campaign signs, and her husband had offered to do the task for her. When he went to remove her sign, he noticed Colleyville City Council Place 2 candidate Bobby Lindamood had two campaign signs as well. Pardo's husband removed Lindamood's sign.
“He was honestly just trying to be helpful,” Pardo said.
The sign’s removal made the rounds on social media, resulting in the protest and a petition for Pardo’s resignation.
Pardo said she had called Lindamood to explain the situation to him, and her husband spoke to Lindamood as well.
Lindamood said in a Facebook post he will not press charges.
The cities of Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake have ordinances in place for campaign signs during election season. Although the cities can’t prohibit electioneering activities or posting signs near public buildings being used for polling places, the city can enact time, place and size restrictions. The restrictions are only enforceable on city-owned or -controlled property, not private property.
Regulations for Grapevine
Temporary political signs no larger than 4 square feet are allowed on the public rights of way and any publicly owned property that is designated as a polling location. The right of way is typically 10-15 feet from the edge of the road. However, no campaign signs can be placed in the right of way in any Historical District. Signs can only be placed beginning on the first day of each voting period and must be removed within three days after the election.
The city prohibits campaign signs on publicly owned property, which includes city parks, city facilities, school district property or state and federally owned property. Voting locations are an exception to this rule.
City Secretary Tara Brooks said when these rules are violated, the city will typically receive phone calls alerting them to the violation. The city’s code enforcement department will reach out to the owner of the sign and ask them to correct the issue. If the issue is not corrected, the city will remove and dispose of the sign.
Amanda McNew, director of communications for the Grapevine Police Department, said to her knowledge, she did not know of any charges that had been filed against a person for tampering with a campaign sign.
Regulations for Colleyville
Colleyville allows campaign signs in any zoning district, such as residential, commercial and agricultural, without a permit. Campaign signs cannot be attached to utilities, street lights or traffic signal poles and cannot be posted on or in a right of way.
Campaign signs are not allowed to be illuminated and cannot be placed on publicly owned property unless it is a voting location. Campaign signs cannot exceed 32 square feet nor exceed 8 feet in height.
Campaign signs on private property must be removed within seven days after the election and cannot be posted more than sixty days prior to official election day.
Community Relations Manager Erin Spicer said if a sign is in violation, the city will usually contact the owner of the sign and request they resolve the violation. If the owner does not come in line with city ordinances, the city will remove the sign. She said incidents of signs that have been tampered with or placed in violation of ordinances without correction are infrequent.
Regulations for Southlake
Southlake prohibits campaign signs in publicly owned properties, with voting locations being an exception. Signs cannot be placed on street signs or utility poles within a public right of way. Campaign signs are not permitted in the city’s right of way.
The city provides public education on the rules and supplies informational packets to candidates who seek voluntary compliance, according to city documents. If signs are in violation, the city will make one attempt to notify the campaign manager or office to advise of the rules and allows four hours for the issue to be corrected. Signs that remain in violation will be confiscated by the city.
Willful destruction of campaign signs or property may result in actions that include the issuance of a citation or an arrest, according to city documents. The Texas Ethics Commission may take separate action.