Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Glades Commission Candidates Push For Votes

Political Sign 'Pollution' Offends Some

MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- On election day, with only a few remaining hours to go, Glades county commission candidates are hoping to get the attention of those voters who have not cast their votes yet. At the Muse Community Center in western Glades county, hundreds of signs for the two Glades County Commission candidates as well as signs for state and federal offices were posted on the grounds of the voting place as well as on the public right of way just outside the Community Center's fence.

Voters will be choosing seat holders of 18 offices up for election today in Glades county, and as well for six proposed state law amendments on the 2006 ballot. Republican Donna Storter Long and Democrat Alvin Ward, the only local politicians looking for votes today, are running for Glades County Commission for District 2.

Alvin Ward's supporters, the Glades Democratic Party, placed a large canopy festooned with balloons outside the fence of the community center on public right of way with dozens of Democrat candidate signs. Workers, when asked about the legality of placing political signs on public property say that's the way its always done in Glades county and no one enforces any sign laws here.

And inside the gate, on the county-owned grounds of the Muse Community Association where voters strolled in and out of the polling place all day, Donna Storter Long's signs were prominently displayed in great numbers near the front entrance to the polling place. Storter-Long had been asked earlier in the campaign about complaints about her signs and opponent Ward's illegally placed political signs scattered on roadways throughout the county. Long said she had instructed her workers to not place them on public land of rights-of-way. But in the exuberance of campaigning, workers apparently didn't heed the instruction, as signs are found all over the county on public land, most usually at the corners of busy intersections and along the fronts of schools and other public places. Long said because her signs inside the grounds at the Muse Community Center were on county property they were allowed there.

Notwithstandig that a Glades county commissioner is a Florida constitutional officer sworn to uphold all the laws of Florida while being paid $24,756 yearly, both Glades commission candidates apparently don't intend to uphold "all" the laws in Florida if a few hundred political signs get in the way.


  1. Anonymous6:04 PM

    It would seem to me you could put your 'paper' to better use than to focus on such petty stuff.

    The forces came out to rally on the party and the candidates..The signs were outside of the minimum 100 feet from a polling place..I understand you even measured to make sure they were in compliance..So please don't make this out to be an issue when it is not..

    They are signs, get over it...Unless you would like us to give you a sign !!!!

  2. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Mr. Browne, I was very disappointed at your article. In my many dealings with the press, I have never been treated so rudely nor so abrasively than when you approached me in front of the Muse Community Center. You were completely ignorant of the campaign sign laws yet, you immediately accused everyone in our group of violating the law. Mr. Browne, if only you were simply ignorant and rude I could ignore you. But what I cannot ignore is your pitifully inaccurate and slanted reporting.

    The fact is that both the Community Center property and the right-of-way are both County owned property. Mr. Browne, you should know that it is not the County Commissioners who are charged with "enforcing" any laws. If pollworkers or the appropriate County officials had determined there to be a violation and so notified our group, we would have quickly rectified any such violation.

    Mr. Browne, you might have focused on the grass roots enthusiam of a few citizens who turned out for 15 hours in a positive show of support for their Democratic party candidates. You might have mentioned that as a courtesy, those same citizens stayed behind, well into the night, to remove their own signs and to lay down and collect the many signs placed by others at the Muse Multipurpse building. You might have interviewed these volunteers to discover why they rose above the general apathy of their community to get involved on election day. Mr. Browne, you might have even have intereviewed a few voters to learn their issues of local concern. But no Mr. Browne, you choose to rag on about a few signs.

    Mr. Browne, you are personally rude and yours is a miserable reporting style. I am sorry I spoke to you and even more sorry I visited your lame excuse for a news webiste.

    One more thing, Mr. Browne. If you run up to me and stick your camera in my face again, don't be surprised if I stick one up yours.

  3. The preceeding anonymous letter was apparently written by the fellow pictured standing in front of the Glades County Democratic Party tent in the photo with the article. He did "apologize" to me for his rude actions while I interviewed the workers there on election day. ...I guess he's taking back his apology.

    Any signs are illegal if placed on county or state right-of-way or on any property without permission of the owner, of which their numerous signs were.