Letter to the editor
On October 23rd Councilmen Pierluigi Oliverio was accused by several citizens of stealing “No On V” signs. Councilmen Pierluigi Oliverio and Mayor Reed said that they did not steal any signs and that Pierluigi Oliverio could take down the signs legally by law. The Mayor turned it around and said that trying to arrest the Councilmen was illegal. The Police & Fire Fighters say no that is wrong, he should be arrested. The Police have to accept my lawful arrest.
This is more of the same we have been hearing from the two sides. Both sides say the other side is lying. Two sides that as citizens we respect. We respect the Mayors Office that they would tell the truth, but we also respect and trust the 2000 men and women Fire Fighters and Police Officers who keep us safe. So who is telling the truth? You decide who is telling the truth.
Here is what the San Jose Municipal Code Law says about removing election signs:
23.04.770 Removal of election signs from public property.
A. Election signs on public property may be removed without notice pursuant to Section 23.02.880 of this title.
B. The director shall cause a list of election signs removed from public property to be filed with the city clerk, for public information.
(Ords. 24201, 24835.)
23.02.880 Authority to remove illegal signs in public right-of-way.
A. Any illegal signs in the public right-of-way may be removed by the city.
B. Any illegal sign of de minimus value in the public right-of-way may also be removed by volunteers on behalf of the city.
C. No notice shall be required prior to removal of illegal signs, including without limitation elections signs, in the public right-of-way.
D. Any sign removed by the city, except any sign of de minimus value, shall be held in storage and the owner or other person in control of such sign, if known, shall be given written notice and ten days to reclaim such sign.
E. Any sign held in storage by the city may be destroyed by the city if not reclaimed:
1. In the time period set forth in subsection D. above; or
2. Within ten days after removal if the owner or other person in control of such sign is not known.
F. In order to reclaim a sign removed by the city, the owner or other person in control of such sign shall first pay to the city a fee as set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by resolution of the city council.
G. Any illegal sign in the public right-of-way of de minimus value shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be destroyed by the city after removal. No opportunity to reclaim such sign shall be given by the city.
H. For purposes of this section, any sign made of cardboard or other nondurable material shall be deemed to be of de minimus value.
(Ords. 24201, 24835.)
The Law is clear that before any sign can be taken down the director shall make a list of signs to remove and it must be filed with the city clerk for public information. This is great law and protects freedom of speech. Was a list made? I was not able to find one.
The law is clear that the city can clearly take the signs down. But Pierluigi Oliverio or the Mayor is not the city he is a citizen.
The law says on behalf of the city volunteers can remove signs. But the city would still have to have to sponsor this type of event. The city would have to direct which signs to be taken down. Notice with the City Clerk would still have to be given.
The signs have to be held for 10 days and written notice that they were removed must be given to the owner. Because of this law it is best to let the city take down the signs so all laws are followed.
I think with a complaint the Police could remove the signs and follow the above Municipal Code. The Police could also determine if the property is truly public or private. The Police are also an agent of the City.
The Law protects everyone. The Law protects this property from being destroyed without trying to return it to its owner. The Law protects freedom of speech.
Think about if you were running a small campaign and you put up signs and the incumbent came along and ripped them down. Remember Prop 8 neither side would want their signs ripped down. Both Pierluigi Oliverio and Mayor Reed are telling citizens to rip down the signs. I think the Mayor has told only half the truth. But here is the Law you decide who is telling the truth.
It seems when two sides are clearly telling two stories a third party would be best to come in and decide who is telling the truth?
Wil Smoke Almaden Valley