(04/02/2016)
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: CALHOUN COUNTY

Litter Pickup on WV 5, WV 16 & US 33 - Calhoun County beginning April 4, 2016.

West Virginia Division of Highways announces that crews will begin litter pickup on WV 5, WV 16 and US 33, beginning on Monday, April 4, 2016. in preparation for the upcoming mowing season, which is set to begin around April 15th.

All political signs that have been placed on these routes (on the Right of Way) will be removed and taken to the Calhoun County Head Quarter, located at 7619 South Calhoun Highway, where they will be stored for 14 days. Any signs that have not been retrieved within 14 days will be destroyed.

By Bob Weaver

Aspiring candidates in Calhoun and maybe regional counties are facing a 72-hour edict issued by the WV Division of Highways, District 3 (Parkersburg) to purge primary road sides from campaign sign litter.

During numerous election cycles, campaign sign removal has not been an issue, part of the political process. Campaign signs are the personal property of candidates.

Certainly there is no public advocacy for the signs along highways, even many candidates do not like them, but during election cycles over the years, campaign sign removal by the state has not been an issue.

Over time, the assumption made by candidates that it's part of the process, and many have invested several thousand dollars to be elected to county positions.

Even candidates for judgeship and other state offices have erected signs on state right of way.

Brent Walker, communications officer with the WV Dept. of Transportation, quoting Secretary of Transportation Paul Mattox, says no one can have signs on state right of way, with the right of way along primary roads 15-20 feet from the center line.

Officials indicated that the enforcement announcement against political signs is being issued and enforced in all districts, affecting all 55 counties, but that could not be confirmed other counties have received the notification.

They say its always been the law.

The agency would not comment on whether there would be some discretion allowing signs on areas that are not mowed, indicating all signs will be removed.

They also would not comment on complaints that have been issued against the proliferating signs.

In many cases, the state's right-of-way extends into what the public views as private yards.

WVDOT officials implied that county road administrators did have some discretion on the enforcement.

Ramona L. Snyder, Administrative Secretary to the District Engineer, said that "All litter that is on the state right of way will be removed by the transportation workers... and further questions should be directed to Calhoun highway administrator Charles Holmes at 304-354-9227.


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