County waives required removal of political signs

ACLU challenges BOCC ordinance, which would require the removal of political signage from county right-of-ways

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

A county ordinance requiring the removal of all political signs from county right-of-ways is being waived for this election season.

Bonner County Commissioners met with county attorney Scott Bauer in an executive session Tuesday regarding possible litigation after announcing earlier this month that all political signs in the county right-of-way would be removed by road crews in accordance with county law.

Bauer said Dave Sasser, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, contacted him, citing Supreme Court case “Reed v. Town of Gilbert.” The case involved an Arizona man challenging his town’s rules against political signs in right-of-ways, saying the law prohibited his freedom of speech. The court ruled in his favor.

Bauer said Sasser contacted him after receiving a complaint from a Bonner County citizen.

BOCC voted to waive the rule for this political season. Commissioner Dan McDonald, currently running for reelection, recused himself from the vote.

“We determined there was sufficient risk, and it would be wise for us to do a reevaluation of our current ordinance,” Bauer said.

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