Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Sign Issue Percolating

Last year, the City of Indianapolis was sued by the Libertarian Party in response to ordinances prohibiting political signs in front yards. The ordinance was clearly anti-free speech and anti-property rights. A court order instructed the City to revise the ordinance to permit signs on the basis of free speech. The Star got around to reporting the item this week. That's not complaining- the issue couldn't be better timed, as the election season is upon us!

The City is cute, though. It revised the ordinance to limit the number of signs at five. My home town of Fishers has an ordinance that prohibits signs outside of 30 days prior to the election. This ordinance will be challenged by local Libertarians, as we place our signs whenever we darn well please on property we own.

I found it odd when I moved to Fishers to observe signs supporting kids' extra-curricular activities tacked to garages instead of being posted more plainly in view in the front yards. The signs have the kids' names and activities on them, whether athletics, cheerleading, or the band.

Curiously, 'for sale' signs are permitted in the front yard. What's wrong with this picture? Is a higher value placed on 'for sale' signs than those showing family and school pride? What a misplaced set of priorities.

I hope we do not experience the heavy hand of the sign police here in Fishers. If we do, though, we will be prepared to file a suit of our own so that all homeowners can more fully enjoy their rights to property and to expression.

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