Tagged: city councils

Are Searcy Public Schools Endorsing the A&P Tax?

I posted last night about the awful Tim Tebow tax sign that has popped up in Searcy. Now a citizen watchdog has submitted this photo of a pro-tax sign in front of Sidney Deener elementary school:

The watchdog also confirms that a sign is being displayed in front of Southwest Middle School as well.

If the signs are on school property, it is unclear at this point whether or not that would be illegal, but as a general rule, it seems to be a no-no to put election signs on public property. At the very least, I think these signs — which clearly imply endorsement of the tax by these schools — are being inappropriately displayed. Public property shouldn’t be used for electioneering and that is a principle that is woven through Arkansas ethics laws. That property belongs to all of us taxpayers, including me. I don’t want it being used to push a tax hike.

If the signs are not on school property, then they are in the right of way, which is a violation of the city code, according to the city of Searcy Code Enforcement’s Mike Cleveland. He made a few candidates move some signs last election cycle because they were “too close to the street,” telling them it was against city law to put signs in the right of way — I wonder if Mr. Cleveland will enforce the law in this case?

I have also personally seen a sign at the entrance of Harding University on Race Street which leads me to believe that the pro-tax workers, in all of their recklessness, are simply sticking signs wherever they want them and not thinking of the legal ramifications.

Cindy Barker of the White County Election Commission tells me that the commission has no jurisdiction over sign placement until election day. She says this issue would likely fall under the purview of the state Board of Education.

Anyone requesting more information about the propriety of these signs can contact the Arkansas Department of Education here. I would also recommend contacting the Arkansas Ethics Commission.