With 2018 elections in mind, Senator Morrison bill aims to rein in oversized, excessive signs
Senator Thomas A. Morrison
It's a common experience during Guam's hyperactive election campaign time: Drivers approach an intersection but narrowly miss an accident because increasingly gigantic political signs block the view.
Campaigns for next year's election are already underway, with fundraisers, village meetings and other activities putting much heavier traffic on island roads. Soon they'll be flanked by signs. A lot of signs.
Senator Morrison's concerns range from safety to whether the political signage is overkill, given more modern means of communication. He says the regulations covering the signs must be updated, "so that we prevent our island from becoming inundated with so many campaign signs at a time when there are other effective and perhaps more affordable methods of communication available including social media.”
The Guam Visitors Bureau has also weighed in on the situation, according to Morrison in a news release.
"According to GVB’s current contractor, a substantial number of steel rebars left behind from last year’s elections were caught on blades, tires, pulleys and mandrels on a number of the company’s push and riding mowers. This resulted in irreparable damage, unforeseen repair costs and significant loss of man-hours as the company had to re-inspect, identify and remove remaining rebar along 60 miles of its contracted roadway project."
Morrison's newly introduced Bill No. 138-34 (COR) would, among other things, put a cap on the number of signs for Guam offices on government property such as road right of ways. 75 signs would be alloted for gubernatorial campaigns, political organizations and political action groups; 50 signs for candidates for the Guam Legislature, U.S. House of Representatives, Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Guam Education Board and for other positions subject to an island-wide election; and, 25 signs for candidates for mayor and vice-mayor.
Other provisions would increase the present $200 deposit to post signs to $1,000. Candidates would not be able to post signs on private property earlier than 60 days prior to a special or general election and the maximum size of such signs would be four feet by eight feet.