Most CEs are great public servants who care about their job and their comminuty. A few CEs might consider themselves to be in a "dead end" job and are poorly motivated to do their job.
Another problem is sometimes lack of funding and staff.
If CE is unwilling or unable to do their job, go to a city council meeting. Take in photos and a dozen signs. At most city councils, you will get 3 minutes to talk and in many cities, you will be televised to hundreds to thousands who watch the meeting on cable community TV channels.
You can emphasize the scope of the problem, the concern of citizens, and the fact that the city must do its job to deal with illegal signs. As I recall, the folks in Dallas did this many years ago and as a result, they got the end benefactor rule passed, which assigns penalties for placing an illegal sign to the entity promoted by the sign.
So speaking at a city council is one step that may generate results equivalent to a month or two of on-the-street sharking.
One additional step worked wonders in Denver: stickers. Stickers:
1. Tell the street spammers that the public will not tolerate their illegal signs.
2. Tell the public that the signs are illegal (many people assume that they are legal).
3. Tell city officials and CE that the public wants the signs dealt with. Even though the sign is sharked and disabled, it is still present - and in addition, the public knows that it is illegal and that the city is not dealing with the problem.
4. Gets the attention of the media. After a stickering campaign 6 years ago or so, we were covered anonymously by major TV stations and papers.
Most of the stickers I have seen say something like:
HELP REMOVE ILLEGAL SIGNS www.CAUSS.org Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam
THIS IS LITTER PLEASE REMOVE www.CAUSS.org Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam
#3. "RE: Could use some help with San Jose Ca Code Enforcement......" In response to Reply # 2
Just a small added note to what Denver Shark mentioned above.
A lot of city councils' allow a speaker five minutes to state their case. In addition, if you can get as many as five other folks to attend the meeting with you and defer their speaking time to you, that will give you thirty minutes to state your case.
This will be more than enough time to get everyone's attention in addition to the media. I can personally attest this procedure will work. I have spoken to numerous city councils in our area in addition to making every attempt to get the media there for at least a short blurb in the local metro section.
Another way to get councils attention is to point out the the bandit signs are on the same level as out of control graffiti. This will normal turn heads and raise eyebrows. No one likes graffiti.
#4. "RE: Could use some help with San Jose Ca Code Enforcement......" In response to Reply # 3
You can reach any sign, when you have enough pipe sections to connect. I use 1/2 inch plumbing pipe, connected with threaded sleeves. One pipe has a sharpened bolt through it to pierce and pull down the signs. I keep (four) 4 ft. lengths in my trunk. These pieces are available in any home center. good luck
#5. "RE: Could use some help with San Jose Ca Code Enforcement......" In response to Reply # 4 Tue Dec-02-08 01:23 PM by pops
>You can reach any sign, when you have enough pipe sections to >connect.
Another version of this idea, which is great for high up signs, is this.
I use about two inch pipe instead, it seems to fit the hand better for gripping. I also use fence pipe. It can be had at a fence supply shop, and has one end tapered so they slide quickly together.
Prefer two 6 foot sections. Cut the tapered end like in the photo. This end is used for prying nails, signs, and all. Then drill a hole in the other end, the handle. Next, move on to the other 6 foot section. Drill a hole in the taper section after sliding inside the first piece. You now have a 12 foot piece that can be pinned together with a bolt.
TIP; the second piece can be cut shorter on the handle end if 12 foot is too long. Or get a third taper section to slide into this handle for a super long sharki-stick. Also, I cut the prying end so only a little more than half the pipe diameter remains at the base of the taper. Then cut the taper off out to the end, so only about half the pipe diameter is removed. This assures the end will be stronger and not break off when prying.
This sharkie stick is my original. It has not broke in 5 years. Happy sharkin!!
#6. "RE: Could use some help with San Jose Ca Code Enforcement......" In response to Reply # 2
Well, I do shark and have been for a long time. The problem is that I have a small jeep and not enough room to carry more stuff in it.
We do have code and benefactor laws here.
The signs are too high to sticker. They went higher because of sharking.
I guess I will have to attend a council meeting to get more attention.
Code enforcement does not have the ability to get the high signs they tell me. So they tell Streets and Traffic to go get them with cherry picker trucks. They take a long time to do that. Or they pass it to PG&E to clean off the signs on their power poles. PG&E does not want to bother to do this.
In years of sharking, I have only found one sign that I could not get. I use two extensible painters pole tools - one for normal height, and then I screw them together for double the height - see the tools section. Both poles fit across the rear floor of my 4x4.
If you can't whack 'em down at that height, just slice them apart.