If signs are on private property, the property owner has the right to display them if they wish. If they are on the city right of way, they possibly already have been collected by city public works, according to Cleveland Police Department spokesperson Evie West.
Fran Green, Bradley County Elections administrator, provided a legislative ruling on candidate signs.
In Senate Bill 211 filed in 1999, an amendment was made regarding campaign signs, posters or placards.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 2-1-116 states:
“After such three-week period, any employee of the county or municipality in which such signs, posters or placard are placed on highway rights-of-way or publically-owned property, or any citizen of such county or municipality, is authorized to remove such signs, posters or placards from such rights-of-way or such public property. Such employees or citizens shall not be liable or subject to any punitive measures for removing them.”
West said the candidates who were involved in the May 6 Primary elections should remove their signage within 10 days from the elections.
Bradley County Environmental Officer Keith Edwards concurred with West regarding the removal of the signs.
Edwards could not recall a county provision of a law, but relies on the state law referencing the timely campaign sign removal.
The original 2-1-116 TCA rule states:
(a) After the conclusion of the primary, general or special election, candidates in such election shall be responsible for removal of any signs, posters or placards advocating their candidacy — the removal of such materials should be within a reasonable period of time following the election, not to exceed three weeks.
(b) Any candidate in a primary election who will also be a candidate in a general or special election following that primary shall not be required to removed any signs advocating such candidate’s candidacy until after the conclusion of the general or special election.
(c) This section shall not be construed as being penal in nature. There shall be no punitive measures taken against a candidate or workers if all signs are not removed.
According to West, any sign, not necessarily limited to campaign signs placed in city rights-of-way, can lead to the owners being fined.