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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Property owners face fines for oversized campaign signs

By Christine Pratt Wenatchee World

WENATCHEE – City officials are cracking down on a handful of political candidates whose campaign signs are too big.

But it’s the property owner who displays the signs, not the candidate, who’s on the hook for possible fines of $150 if the too-big signs aren’t removed or downsized.

And that could make a voter a bit cranky.

A quick drive around South Wenatchee on Friday revealed signs for candidates Randy Harrison, Jerry Paine, Carnan Bergren, Kevin Overbay, Jim Blair, Mike Steele and Brad Hawkins that were all too big for their posted locations, according to the city’s color-coded campaign sign map.

“Basically, we found that each of the candidates had violations,” Steve King, the city’s director of community and economic development, said Friday. “The candidates are going to have to go around and police their own signs.”

Early in the campaign season, the city sends the candidates letters that include requirements for political signs, King said.

Often, neither the candidates’ sign installers nor the city residents who agree to place the signs on their properties know the rules.

City officials said letters will be sent to all candidates whose signs are in violation, along with a list of the signs’ locations, King said.

The biggest offender in South Wenatchee appears to be Randy Harrison, the East Wenatchee police chief who’s running for a seat on the Chelan County Commission. His 4-foot-by-8-foot campaign signs appear in yards, on fences and at intersections that are zoned only for the smaller 2-foot-by-3-foot yard signs.

Harrison wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday.

Campaign signs are not allowed on city-owned property, King said.

In the city’s dense commercial and mixed-use areas, signs as large as 32 square feet (4 feet by 8 feet) are allowed.

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