Sign agreement leads to lack of signs

No-election sign agreement dates back to 1990 in Agassiz

During any election season, excessive lawn signs can become an eyesore in many communities.

But that hasn’t been the case in Agassiz for many years.

For the past several elections, the District of Kent has mostly remained a sign-free zone.

Coun. Lorne Fisher said the decision to not post election signs came out of a “gentlemen’s and ladies’ agreement” many years ago. That was in 1990, confirmed Sylvia Pranger, a year she was running for council.

Instead of buying costly signs top put up around town, they decided to each donate $500 back to the community through a chosen charity. Pranger, who is running for re-election after a two-term break, said she will continue to follow the agreement. But she added that everyone is free to do what they choose.

“Everybody is able to have a voice,” she said. “I will make my own personal contribution to the food bank or whatever charity has been chosen. If someone is new, they may choose to do signs, but they may also choose to contribute to charity as well. It’s not a prescribed thing, we can choose to participate or not.”

She added that the money donated to the charity is not from campaign donations, but out of her own pocket.

In addition to this habit of not advertising on lawns and other green space, the District of Kent has an election sign bylaw that states no signs can up until 30 days before election day.

That means, by law, signs could start going up today. And they probably will.

Coun. Duane Post put up his signs last election, not knowing of the previous agreement. He told the Observer the agreement not to put up signs gives too much of an advantage to the better known candidates, and puts the newcomers at a disadvantage.

“How are you supposed to get your name known?” he asked.

The Observer informally polled its Facebook audience to see how they feel about the lack of signs, especially when compared to cities where prolific signage is evident at every intersection.

“Looks better,” wrote Michael Shaw. “No waste of materials cluttering the streets.”

Others noted that signs don’t play a big role in choosing council members.

“Signs don’t make a difference to my vote, so that’s just fine with me,” answered Rebecca Wood.

Even school board trustee candidate Leah Ochoa weighed in on the discussion.

“I like the idea of not creating extra waste,” she said. “I think that they were ahead of their time when they decided not to do signs. We live in a digital era that we can utilize so why not utilize it?”

But one commenter wasn’t getting too excited about the lack of election signs.

“It’s coming.” said Keith Myles. “Soon as one is put up it will all start.”

He may be right.

After council on Tuesday night, Fisher and Post poked a bit of fun at each other, wondering which of the two would be the first to dig out their old signs.

Both agreed that signs around town could help spark interest in the election, and by extension boost voter turnout.

In 2011, the provincial voter turnout was 29.55%. In Agassiz, voter turnout was 27.8%, with 932 voters casting ballots out of a potential 3,346. In Harrison Hot Springs, turnout was 60.5% with 691 voters turning up at polls out of a potential 1,141.

news@ahobserver.com

 

Just Posted

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

VIDEO: Masterpieces begin to take shape at Hope’s chainsaw competition

More than a dozen chainsaw carvers, including one 14-year-old carver, taking part in four-day event

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Young balance-bikers race in B.C.’s inaugural Strider Cup

The course has several obstacles including ‘Mount Scary’ and the ‘Noodle Monster’

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Most Read