I wrote a letter to the local paper in Longmont (Daily Times-Call) which was published in the 'Johnnie St. Vrain' column. Essentially, you write and complain about something and whoever is behind the column (Johnnie St. Vrain is just a pen name) attempts to find a responsible party in the government or other official organization to respond.
I scanned in the column to upload but the upload limit is 20K while the scanned file is about 700K. So I'm appending the text of my letter which the columnist didn't change much and his/her reply.
Dear Johnnie: Recently you answered a question about the hundreds, maybe thousands, of illegal real estate signs and mentioned Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam. Could you mention the Web site for the organization, which is www.causs.org? You can check the forums for the Colorado section. CAUSS does not really have chapters or meetings except online. It is barely an organization. If you think the signs are ugly, you are a member. If you pull up one of the signs, you are an active member! I encourage every citizen to pull over safely, pull up these signs and then take them home and put them in the trash. They go up over the weekends when the code-enforcement people are enjoying their time off. The city manager could authorize overtime for the code enforcement people. They could follow the signs to the new developments and give tickets to the real estate agents. Since the signs are in violation of city codes, I'm sure the fines would pay for the overtime and the signs would not appear again anytime soon. I saw one guy in a little white pickup methodically putting up a bunch of these signs on a Friday night. Should I have called the police? Somehow, calling the police for litter doesn't seem right. What's the alternative? Citizen Against Ugly Street Spam
Dear Citizen: Sometimes, it's a Catch-22 situation. The signs do not make the city look more attractive, but despite the fact they are in violation of city code, they also can help direct interested homebuyers to homes or developments. But agreed, many of them go too far. Code enforcement has told me in the past that it is OK to remove street spam from public property, but it would not be legal if the signs are on private property. That could be a problem, and removal would be up to the property owner, even though they could still be in violation of codes. If you have the license number of a vehicle of a person illegally putting these signs up, you should call in the number to code enforcement and let them issue the warning or citation. Call 303-651-8321 or 303-651-8695 for a code-enforcement officer. As big a problem as this is, some operators go around in the dark of night putting signs up high on utility poles that are intentionally difficult to reach and remove. They usually include offers such as making money at home on your computer, or offering to buy your home, etc. Doing business with people who use such illegal means to advertise, using only a phone number, is not a ringing endorsement for their services. Thanks for writing. Johnnie
#2. "RE: Mention in Longmont paper" In response to Reply # 0
Writing to the local paper is always a good idea. Way to go, Longshark!! When people see it in print that the signs are illegal and that they can be removed, they are more likely to gather up the courage to stop theeir car and pick up a sign or two. Of course, they will get information and moral support from the web site.