Black Press files                                Discarded election signs at the Langley Township public works yard in 2018.

Black Press files Discarded election signs at the Langley Township public works yard in 2018.

No cash, no election sign policy pondered by B.C. city

A deposit could be required to put up election signs in 2022.

Langley Township and school board candidates might have to put down a $500 deposit for the right to raise election signs starting in 2022.

On Monday night, Township council will debate a new bylaw that will revamp the rules for election signs.

In July, Township council voted to place a 20-day limit on advertising via roadside signs – though the new limit wasn’t set to take effect during last fall’s local election.

The new bylaw also incorporates some suggestions from Township staff based on their experiences with the recent vote, and that’s why the deposit might be required in the future.

Last fall, Township staff picked up at least 600 election signs after the four-day grace period following the election, said Bill Storie, manager of community and council initiatives.

That was just by bylaw officers, Storie said. Operations workers with the Township also picked up signs as they went about their work driving around the community, but didn’t record the numbers.

The report from Township staffers recommends a fee to cover the pick up of election signs that are either placed in violation of the rules, or which are not picked up by candidates after the vote and have to be hauled away by municipal workers.

“The October 2018 campaign saw a significant use of staff resources to both pick up improperly placed signs prior to Election Day and retrieve signs after the allowable placement date limit of four days post General Election Day,” said the report on the new bylaw.

To save on staff time and money, the new bylaw would require any candidate or political organization planning to post signs to put down a $500 refundable deposit before they can put signs along roadways.

For each time a sign has to be picked up by the Township, $25 is to be deducted from the deposit.

The new rules are also ban placing signs in front of schools or school board property, and ban the use of reflective tape or stickers on signs.

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