Somewhere about the date Sept. 22, those running for town council in Chapel Hill may legally place their campaign signs.  I’m really curious to see what they’re going to look like this year.   Will the incumbents use their signs from last time?  Will candidates start the process on Sept. 22 or wait till closer to the election?   How important are signs in an election?


12 responses to “THE POLITICAL SIGNS

  1. Laurin – they seem important if only because you are noticed if you don’t have them – and if you don’t have them at the “right” locations. We use to teach in state and local politics that a yard sign was typically equal to six votes, but that doesn’t mean that they would not have voted as they did if there were no signs.

    If would be interesting to know if more sign and fewer people voting is a valid conclusion locally.

    PS: look at the pic on my blog of the sign stating that the NYC Transit is “going green.”

  2. That statistic about 6 votes per sign is interesting. I must have put out 3 more signs than Mark Kleinshmidt. 🙂
    NYC itself is going green in many ways, although we usually don’t think of NYC being a “green” place! I liked the sign. In Chapel Hill in the coming year, you may see signs occasionally spring up that show different things about what the Town has done, for instance a sign depicting open space that the Town preserved in x year, etc. etc. I saw this myself in Hilton Head and a discreet small sign that blends in to the environment showing open space preservation by the Town is a good thing. I’d like to see one of those signs placed on 75% of the Horace Williams tract.

  3. Recycle and reuse. isn’t that the Chapel Hill way?

  4. Definitely. But for some, 4 years and signs having gone through an election cycle (wind, rain, twisting) may not yield enough signs to have a full slate. So if you have to reorder signs, do you reorder the same design? If it worked before, I guess you’d order the same one. Maybe change is in the air and a new look may be desired, I don’t know. Hey Will, I noticed one of your signs on an MLK corner the other day, maybe last week I can’t remember. Surely it was not you that placed it, since it’s not time yet. 🙂

  5. No time like the present, as folks say. I might do a restock but I’m hoping my somewhat ironic “Everyone Votes Raymond” will work a little bit better this time around.

    I’ve got my initial budget worked out and it looks like $3500-4000 should cover my expenses as long as I don’t do another run of signs.

  6. That is a great sign…always was. I think that budget sounds reasonable. Looking forward to seeing all of the candidates in the upcoming forums. Sierra Club’s for Chapel Hill is next week? I think.

  7. Yes, the interview was yesterday. I’m going to post about later tonight.

  8. Will is the first to get signs out this Friday Sept. 21. I don’t think he’s done because I haven’t seen them in all the usual spots yet. With the political signs cropping up now, people will start to become more attuned to the fact there is a municipal election coming up. I’ve seen signs up in Durham for their city council races— some have been up for a few weeks. Word is that one of the Chapel Hill council candidates has dropped out, Mr. Nash. Not sure why, the paper reports personal reasons. So we’ve got the incumbents and Penny, Will and Matt. I’ve never seen Matt before (that I remember), know Will, and met Penny for the first time about a month ago. Good luck to everyone!

  9. Had my interview with Aaron Nelson, Director of the Chamber, yesterday and he told me someone had put a sign up at Southern Village. It was quite a surprise as I have all but about 35 signs and, as you might remember had accounted for all of them by 9:30am, the day after the election!

    I heard of from some students that they’d seen my signs in the dorms. I found out later that a few were snagged by friends but I thought I knew where all of them were…

    And now I’ve heard of a few popping up elsewhere, including Southern Village. Incredible.

    The ones along MLK I put up. As I’m running errands too and fro I’ll take the opportunity to put more up. I plan to do about 3/4 by next week (as I know at least one online denizen who says he/she is disappointed with me has a history of redeploying signs into the woods, etc.). I’d like to hold a few in reserve in case that happens.

    Anyone that wants a sign can drop me an email: campaign AT

    Laurin, I hope you’re right and this starts to spur some discussion on what I think might be more of a watershed race than ours in 2005.

  10. In 2005 a Southern Village property management company told me that I was not “allowed” to place political signs in Southern Village—they were not allowed but could be allowed at the entrance, etc. They threatened to destroy or confiscate my signs. Checking the law at the time and it should be obvious, I was assured that political signs placed in public right of way are FINE! I had only a few signs in Southern Village anyway. I definitely had it out with that group (can’t remember the name), but the ironic thing was that I came in first in Southern Village precinct and I felt happy celebrating my initial successes with friends at the local restaurant there.

  11. Yes, I had the same problem with “confiscation”. Since I’m running as low cost a campaign as I can – if it happens this time I’ll probably make a bigger deal about it.

  12. The signs have really started to sprout up, and I saw campaign workers out working hard twisting and hammering this weekend. Saw Sally’s husband hammering in a Go Sally Greene (again!) sign on Homestead Road and saw early this a.m. George Cianciolo hammering in a Strom sign on Weaver Dairy Extension. Haven’t seen Will out there but have seen the signs! Have yet to see a Jim Ward, Cam or Kevin sign but I assume they’re on their way. Last election cycle I must admit I liked the circular sign that Katrina Ryan used….very different.

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