I'm new to this forum, and posted a hello over in the General folder. I can't stand to see this folder stay empty, so I registered, and will share a recent mop up operation for anyone in the Ocala area that cares.
There's this appliance store about 4 blocks off Pine St between 17th St and Hwy 40. They plastered all of Pine St with 20 plus signs... at each... and every... intersection... and stop sign... you get the idea. They each say '$99 Appliances'. I know those signs have been there since at least September. They were placed in the corners of Cameo, Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts, some teryaki joint... all these businesses, and not a one of them cleaned them up for over 2 months! What's wrong with these idiots? (I know, the property owner is never around, and the landscape people haven't a brain among them.)
Pine St is not part of my routine clean up operation, but I had to get it out of my system I guess. So two nights ago, I swept the entire neighborhood, adding I believe about 25 to my growing pile of coroplast. Many were zip-tied to the stop signs! Can you believe this is one of 3 main streets in Ocala, and C.E. just ignored these signs zip-tied to the stop signs?!!!
So this afternoon, feeling all good about myself and all, I drive by and... holy crap! They were all back! And then some! They were distributed even farther away from their dumpy warehouse, too! They must have figured that the signs went on a 'routine' sweep by C.E., clean-up crews, whatever, and that it would be weeks or months before the next would hit... so may as well paper the town, right?
I was a little uneasy of being ambushed, but I went ahead and cleaned 'em up tonight... 33 of 'em! I left one at a dangerous intersection, in a bad part of town, but overall, a resounding success! And not one of the 8 cops that watched me even asked what I was doing... at 1am in the morning!
I'd pay $99 to see the expression on those b******s faces tomorrow morning. I wonder if they'll try a third round.
#1. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 0
You learn quickly, don't you? Just getting started, and you've already discovered the best (and pretty much only) way to make the spammers stop, and that is:
Around here, I found that three rounds of new signs / immediate removals was the typical cycle before the spammers would get the message that their signs would NOT stay up more than a day.
Don't worry about the spammers; they'll bluster and BS you if they see you taking down the signs, but they're in the wrong and they know it. Find your local / state laws about illegal signs and carry a copy with you.
And, as our great friend BillVansic always advises, never give up. You can beat these bozos.
#2. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 0
I too wonder how signs can stay up for months when tied to stop signs or when in unrelated business parking lots. Not only must the CE staff be totally unresponsive but the city council members must not care enough to either remove them personally or to call the CE and ask for action. These people probably care for their city but somehow just don't see illegal signs as a problem.
Keep up the good work in Ocala. Persistence should pay off.
#3. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 0
Since local authorities are showing no concern, you might try a couple of things to stir things up. Send a letter to the editor, perhaps enclosing a picture (with phone number blacked out) of some spam that readers will remember seeing. Put www.causs.org in the letter and we'll see if anyone new posts to the board. If you don't mind having your name in the paper, people might also contact you directly.
Next step would be to contact city council members and see if they are individually supportive. You may also want to make a brief presentation to the council to highlight the problem and suggest more action by the authorities.
#4. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 0
Good job! Recently I've been trying to keep the life of any signs in my area to less than 24 hours. Surprisingly (or not) it almost seems like that generates more signs since many of them are replacements. Either way, it makes things much more difficult for the spammers!
#5. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 4
This morning I e-mailed the City of Ocala asking them what their policy is for removing illegal signs. When I left work today I had not received a response. If and when I do, I will post it here. Thanks.
#6. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 5
Thanks so much for all the support... I really need it today. Almost every intersection I cleaned up last night has new signs on it today... some from the appliance store... but they are either running out of them, or testing the waters yet again! I'm real leary about going out there tonight (3 nights in a row), but I guess that's what it will call for. On Monday, I intend to 'protest' in front of Ocala C.E... by placing some of the appliance signs on their lush green lawn.
I am organizing my notes and thoughts regarding local ordinances, and plan to approach our county commissioners in early 2005. The info I find here in the forums will be of great help.
BTW, I spoke with another C.E. officer at Marion County this afternoon. They did give me the impression that they are not ignoring the problem (they hauled in 200 signs this week), but they are probably overwhelmed (my words, not his).
If anyone in Marion Co. cares to do some sweeping with me, pass me a note... could use the company sometimes. (We'd meet at a very public place, of course).
#7. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 4
JSG, I enjoyed the pics on your site. I've been taking a camera with me every where I go... just before I snag a sign, I click a pic... just in case someone wants to make an issue of it, I've got the evidence.
What's with all the Pepsi crates? Something the rest of us have to look forward to?
#9. "RE: Hello from Marion County" In response to Reply # 0
I just realized I have been remiss in introducing my street sweeping companion, Rake-O-Matic. It is ergonomically designed for both coroplast destruction, as well prying off those plywood behemoths. It's unique diamond-head with nautilus-like tines automatically reconfigures itself with repeated use. The duct tape handle ensures a sure grip, with no more splinters! (follow link)