Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Political signs are popping up

I guess they are a necessary evil — political signs.

They are popping up around Colorado Springs. I saw my first ones right after Christmas.

This will be my first city election and this one is a doosie! Last year, residents voted to change the city's government to include a strong mayor. The mayor gets paid a full-time salary of $96,000.

There are a nine candidates running for mayor as of Monday. The city has a list at its Web site here.  Candidates had until 5 p.m. on Monday to withdraw their nominations, so that could change a little bit. There are 16 candidates for the at-large council seats, four for the District 2 seat and two for the District 3 seat.

That's a large pool of candidates. Imagine how many signs you will see all over the place? I've already seen signs for mayoral candidate Steve Bach. During one of the snow/road condition reports for a local TV station earlier this year, one of the political candidate's signs was in the background throughout the entire live report. I'm sure the candidate would have liked it better had I recalled his name after seeing his sign for the almost two minute report. It was probably Bach's sign, because his signs were out early.

I hate political signs. They clutter intersections. They dot landscapes. They are often linger long after elections.

Signs aren't the only way candidates are connecting with voters. There are Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and Web sites. One candidate found me on Twitter, because I have a Colorado Springs location listed on my account. Candidate Web sites are listed on the city's candidate list.

The Gazette newspaper does a great job of covering all the ins and outs of the election and the candidates on the ballot. The number of candidates has fluctuated already this year as some announced, but decided not to run for office.

Being a city council member is a big deal, especially in a town the size of Colorado Springs. And, it doesn't pay as good as jobs in much smaller cities. The strong mayor position pays less than some city managers get in small rural towns. Well, maybe not in Colorado as the pay here seems to be below other areas of the nation.

The election will be here before we know it on April 5.

And, hopefully by the end of that week, all the political signs will be removed.

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