Campaign sign controversy arrives early in Asheville City Council election


Candidates for Asheville City Council haven’t even officially filed to run for elections set for later this year, but controversy over campaign signs has already erupted.

Several candidates have already cranking up their campaigns, and deployed yard placards, ahead of the official filing period, which opens on July 7. But after somebody complained to city officials that certain posters violated the city’s sign ordinance, candidates urgently asked supporters to take down all signs.

Candidate Kim Roney wrote on Facebook:

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED: The Kim Roney yard signs cannot go up yet and we need your help to take them down TODAY! If you have one in your yard, please remove and store until Sept 1st. Please spread the word and share with your neighbors so we can get compliant immediately!! When September 1st finally comes, don’t be afraid to take your pick of the assortment of yard signs that be found online.

Candidate Adrian Vassallo also posted a Facebook message to followers:

VERY IMPORTANT – If you took a yard sign last Thursday night at the Kickoff event and have it displayed on your property, please take it down immediately. There was a little confusion in the campaign marketplace as it relates to signs on personal property, but we must comply with the City ordinance so please help us get the word out to take all signs down. We will let you know when the signs can be displayed again.

Every year, it seems, there’s some controversy over campaign signs. Many complaints center around signs posted along streets and at intersections in areas of public right-of-way. But this issue appears to encompass campaign signs posted in individual’s yards.

Political campaign signs have traditionally not been allowed to be posted until 30 days before an election. But city officials announced two years ago that they were rewriting the city’s sign ordinance to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down in June of 2015, Reed v. The Town of Gilbert, which ruled that signs cannot be regulated according to content, according to this Mountain Xpress report.

We’ll see what happens, but as of now, it appears that candidates are attempting to comply with the recent direct to remove all signs.

Here’s my running list of announced candidates for Asheville City Council Election ’17: Adrian Vassallo, Jeremy Goldstein, Rich Lee, Kim Roney, Sheneika Smith, Cecil Bothwell, Gwen Wisler, Dee Williams and Vijay Kapoor. For Mayor, incumbent Esther Manheimer has announced she’s running for re-election for mayor, and Jonathan Wainscott has announced he’ll be opposing her.


Deplorable Infidel June 14, 2017 - 7:26 am

Oh this is so laughable…who knew there was a rule for this…?

The question for all candidates: How many taxpayer earned MILLION$ can be saved per year when we consolidate our unnecessary dual, anti diversity government school systems in Buncombe County?

WHY do the taxpayers continue to tolerate this inequity? In the name of diversity? WHEN will we have an ‘ALL ONE’ system for ALL children of Buncombe County? (We could eliminate the City Schools ‘Foundation’!)

indie June 14, 2017 - 6:18 pm

Why stop with schools? Many functions could be combined for efficiency.

Murphy June 13, 2017 - 9:33 am

What about signs that are still up (or laying around) from the last election?

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