December 3, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Maize City Administrator not enforcing election sign laws ahead of bond vote

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The Maize City Administrator approves of elections signs on public property encouraging a ‘yes’ vote on an upcoming school bond election which is against the law in Maize.

Driving around in Maize, a suburb north-west of Wichita, and it is hard to miss the election signs on public property encouraging a yes vote on an upcoming bond issue. Maize code enforcement officer Jeff Greep says there are a lot of them out.

“The fact that they put them everywhere. Yeah, I wish they wouldn’t allow them. But that’s what I’ve been told, leave them unless someone complains about them.”

Maize City Administrator Richard LaMunyon is the city official that told Greep to leave the election signs up. The election signs encourage voters to approve the bond saying “Yes for Maize Kids.” The majority of the election signs are on city easements. As public property, this goes directly against Maize city code.

In regards to political signs Maize code states, “No such signs shall be placed upon or shall extend into public property or right-of-way. As of Monday morning, The Sentinel counted at least 40 such signs on public property around Maize schools.

However, as Greep notes, the city code regarding election signs is rarely enforced.

“They aren’t supposed to be on city easement but we don’t pull the political signs up,” says Greep.

In most cities in Kansas, it is illegal to put election signs on public property. This is done so that a city or political entity cannot be seen trying to sway any specific election. The public property restriction also includes city easement on the streets.

“You are actually supposed to put them passed the easement up in your yard, but people stick them out by the curb,” says Greep.

Greep says unless the city receives a complaint about an election sign in someone yard, they usually do not enforce the law.

“The only time we have pulled any out is when they did not ask for permission to have them there and they put them in front of somebody’s house,” says Greep.

With the school bond election, the city administer appears to be actively encouraging city officials to look the other way on the law regarding election signs.

“I hope the election gets over soon it looks pretty bad,” Greep.

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