Russell Pearce Shills Refuse to Remove Illegal Signs, Mesa Gives Them Till Monday

Horses Ass_MT_250.jpg
Pearce pal Tolman in his natural state...

Amazing. According to Christine Zielonka, the Mesa official in charge of code compliance, the pro-Pearce group Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall, is refusing to remove the illegal signs posted all over Mesa, despite a city order and the threat that city workers will collect them after Monday if they are not taken down.

During a meeting Wednesday morning, representatives of CWOPR indicated that they would comply with the law, but then they called back later in the day to say they would not.

"They told us in the morning that they would go ahead and remove the signs," Zielonka explained. "Then they called us in the afternoon...They basically told us they were not intending to remove them."

So Mesa sent out another letter to the scofflaws, dated yesterday, advising Matt Tolman, the clueless idiot who's the chairman of CWOPR, that the signs are in violation of ARS 16-1019, which states such signs cannot go up until 60 days prior to an election.

There are other problems with the signs, other than the fact that they are full of lies about Randy Parraz, co-founder of the recall group Citizens for a Better Arizona. There's no contact info on the signs, and they are placed in inappropriate places. 

You can see an outline of these problems in the letter to Tolman from Mesa Deputy City Manager Karolyn Kent, here.

The letter gives Tolman till 5 p.m. Monday, August 29 to remove the placards or the city will take them down, hold them, and keep them till September 9, when Tolman and his fellow mooks can collect them and put them back up, with the various conditions met.

That letter is the second notice, and the second deadline offered by Mesa to the recalcitrant adherents of state Senate President Russell Pearce. The first deadline was supposed to be tomorrow. The first letter indicated that many of the signs had blown down in the recent windstorm and were considered blight.

The first letter also notes that, "The location and condition of many of these signs are a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians."

So these Pearce toadies are littering, breaking the law, endangering the public safety, and costing taxpayers money in the bargain.

I can only hope Mesa's residents are appropriately ticked.

If so, all of these shenanigans, the nose-thumbing, the dirty pool, the sheer stupidity of Tolman should play right into the hands of the recall supporters.

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36 comments
Jason
Jason

What is it about the word illegal that Mr. Rule of Law can't or won't understand?

Yet another delay tactic by this senile old fool to delay the inevitable: The booting of Russell Pearce.

Tina
Tina

I agree.  Considering the city staff time that has already had to be spent on the Pearce/Tolman blitzkrieg of these 300 unlawful signs, plus the extra time the perpetrators have been given to remove them, certainly warrants substantial fines for any of those left standing and having to be removed by the city.  

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

The contact information is for contacting the sign's owner in the event of a violation.  What does the city code say about signs without contact information?  Are they supposed to be removed and discarded?

Tina
Tina

Good question.  The overhauled City of Mesa zoning code.  expected  to be adopted next month, just says "The person, party, or parties responsible for the distribution and display of such (political and campaign) signs shall be individually and jointly responsible for their  removal."

Not much help, so that's where the recently adopted state law -- ARS 16-1019 signed by the governor on 4/28/11 -- governing Political Signs comes into play.

ARS 16-1019C says, effectively, that a city SHALL NOT REMOVE a political sign if the sign meets all of five conditions.  One of those five conditions, ARS 16-1019C5, is "The sign contains the name and telephone number of the candidate or campaign committee contact person."

Here's the hummer. Those 300 signs put out by the Russell Pearce campaign contain no "NAME and  telephone number of the candidate" and "no NAME and telephone number of any campaign committee contact PERSON."   No "Russell Pearce" anywhere on the signs.  No "Matt Tolman" anywhere on the signs, much less any phone numbers.  

  They don't even identify a candidate, despite the fact that another condition for a political sign -- ARS 16-1019C2 -- legally requires that "The sign supports or opposes a candidate for public office or it supports or opposes a ballot measure." 

 Because the scheduled recall election is a fait accompli, and the only thing we will be voting on is our selection of one candidate for our state senator,  with no "ballot measure" to be voted upon, those signs are also in non-compliance with that legal requirement, C2. 

  In one-inch tall letters at the base of the signs, following another sentence or two of the same size lettering containing the name "Randy Parraz,"  it is printed, "Paid for by Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall." 

So with no information as to the individual person responsible for these unlawful signs, and no contact information provided, what can an enforcement agency like the City of Mesa do? 

While some civic minded citizens have suggested taking a hacksaw to the signs, the law in pertinent part says,

ARS 16-1019D  "If a  sign is placed in violation of subsection C and the placement is not deemed to constitute an emergency, the city, town or county MAY notify the candidate or campaign committee that placed the sign of the violation."  (note: notification is not necessary, and with no contact information provided not possible.) 

 "If the sign remains in violation at least twenty-four hours after the jurisdiction notified the candidate or campaign committee" (note: again, contact was not required or possible without a crystal ball or playing Sherlock Holmes) "the JURISDICTION MAY REMOVE THE SIGN.  The jurisdiction SHALL contact the candidate" (again, no candidate identified on sign) "or campaign committee contact" (note: committee named, but no contact person or phone) "and SHALL retain the sign for a least ten business days to allow the candidate or campaign committee to retrieve the sign without penalty." 

Through innovative detective work and information from irate citizens,  the city did learn the committee chairman's name, Matt Tolman, the committee's P.O. Box No.,  and Tolman's home phone number, resulting in the meeting between Tolman and the city on the morning of August 24, and the two clearly stated directives to Tolman concerning the signs in its letters of August 23 and August 24.  

Since there is only one scheduled election, the City has correctly treated the recall election as a primary election, and the earliest the signs can be set out is September 9, 2011, 60 days prior to the election scheduled for November 8, 2011 (ARS 16-1019H) This is also a current  provision in Mesa's laws pertaining to political and campaign signs. "Signs shall not be displayed earlier than sixty (60) days prior to an election...."

So, Gerry, back to your question.  I can just offer an opinion, but because the city has had to spend oodles of hours on this matter, and was not required to find or notify Tolman due to his own negligence, although they finally did learn that he was the responsible party, I think that the city was initially well within its rights to remove and discard the vast number of signs with their vast number of legal violations.  

The onus now is on Tolman and the Pearce committee to remove their signs. The city has bent over  backwards to give them plenty of time to  do so.  If the Tolman committee gets all but 3 or 4 signs removed, I don't see any problem with the city picking them up and storing them for 10 business days for Tolman/Pearce to retrieve without penalty.  On the other hand, if the signs are not removed by 5:00 pm on Monday, I think the city can rightfully tally up and charge their campaign for all the man hours the city has had to spend on this entire matter.  The charge would not be a "penalty" per se.  It would be a reimbursement.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Thank you for the well reasoned answer Tina.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Fine, leave the signs up.  Just have code enforcement put a very large violation sticker on each one that has really good self adhesive.

Tina
Tina

For the sake of principle,  that would be funny, but it wouldn't eliminate the blight.  

Tina
Tina

Stephen, this is one LD 18 voter who really appreciates the information here, especially letting us know of the follow-up letter from Kari Kent to Tolman.  The city's code compliance division had so many citizen complaints about those confounded signs, that a week ago they assigned one person to just field all the calls.  I can imagine their frustration too when they must have had to scramble to learn who to contact (Tolman) and at what number, since that legally required information was not on the signs.

Harry Wisencraker Jr.
Harry Wisencraker Jr.

My guess is it's going to take a crane, a few crowbars and some grease to pry Pearce's ass out of the Senate .... even after the recall.   

Anthony Wesley
Anthony Wesley

Once again showing that anyone who is a follower of Russell Pearce shows no class or regard for the law.  What is it that Russell keeps saying??  What part of Illegal don't you understand??  When it is on the other foot it seems that they only care about laws that support their belief system.

Captainobvious
Captainobvious

right, just like illegal aliens and their supporters...

turns out, part of human nature is to be irredeemably hypocritical.  who knew??

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

What is hypocrital here is for the Senate President that continually professes "Rule of Law" he surely has a problem abiding by it, he has his entire life, based on his on record of law breaking, and his 2 felonious sons too.

Tina
Tina

Hey Captainobvious,  to repeat, it's not hypocritical  at all.   It's just not local government's prerogative to write and enforce their own immigration laws that are inconsistent with federal immigration law....and case law.  

Rob
Rob

Well how nice of Mesa to let them off the hook.

We had a store in Mesa and I received a notice of sign code violation in an envelope from an inspector that came in while I was out. On a Thursday afternoon. Giving me 24 hours to remove it or be fined. We scrambled, and at great expense I was able to get a crew out to remove the sign on Sunday. The banner required a cherry picker/crane to install/remove.

The code inspector walked into my store bright and early Monday morning and informed me that were my sign not down he was going to ticket me.  His claim was that Mesa - like most other cities - was in deep financial straits and wanted code violations enforced.

Now I see I could have saved the $1700 it cost me.

Tina
Tina

Rob, I don't think the city is "letting them off the hook."  Besides the city's first strongly worded letter handed to Tolman on Wed.  morning 8/24, read Lemons' link to the explicit follow-up letter Tolman & company  just got  from Mesa's Karolyn Kent.  I would think that of the 300 signs they planted throughout the city, if any are left standing after Mon, 8/29, and the city has to remove the remaining signs themselves, Pearce's campaign committee will likely be fined for each illegal sign not removed.   Since there is no Pearce recall election in Gilbert, Tempe or Chandler, it's anybody's guess what those cities are doing to rid themselves of those red "campaign" signs erected in their cities.

The irony of all this is two-fold. (1) the often pontificated words about "the rule of law" by the subject of the recall and (2) the fact that as state senate president he just signed (four months ago) the amendments to the very law covering political campaign signs that his campaign committee has now flagrantly violated.  

Coz
Coz

No shit, Peoria Code enforcement are total assholes as well.But not if your a politicians !....

Rob
Rob

They all are Coz...well Phoenix isn't so bad sometimes but Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa and Tempe can be real pricks.

And what gets me, each time I've dealt with them, their opening line after introducing themselves....."We received a complaint and anytime we receive one we have to investigate....".

Coz
Coz

Yup, my thoughts exactly.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

It doesnt surprise me, I have my property in phoenix, but do to my job I travel a lot so I have a gardner take care of my front and back yard, I have gotten 2 notices for an overgrown tree that is in the middle of my property and at least 75 feet from my property line on both sides and 30 feet front the sidewalk, it clearly is not a nuisance or danger to my neighbors or pedestrians so I dont know what their beef is on that, also I once got a notice for an Improperly displayed an alarm sign (ADT), it turns out kids play on my drive way because I have a basketball hoop there so neighbood kids like to go there and play, well someone either trampled over the sign or hit it with the ball but caused it to lean sideways about 45 degrees, I was blown away by that, this idiot took 5 minutes to write the notice, got out of his car and walked 25 feet past the sign to go my front door and hang the notice on it, it would have taken him 2 seconds to straighten it out.  Welcome to Narzizona.

  

Coz
Coz

I have one named John Alexander that continually stocks my house. I see him drive by 2-3 times a week and find him sitting in from of my house on a regular basis.

I have had a few disputes with this Code Enforcement Nazi.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

"We received a complaint"

Sure they did, and me seeing those code enforcement vehicles driving around neighborhoods looking at private homes is just my imagination.   

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

Yup, you might have gotten a few thousands of dollars in free game tickets, airfare, hotel lodging, and meals in the process too, but NOOO, you had to comply and abide by the rules didn't you?  don't you know that if you profess "Rule of LAW" but do the exact opposite you will prosper, hell you might even get to be Senate President some day, but you need to commit fraud and get fired from 2 government jobs, beat 2 different wives, stat licking swastikas, and let at least 3 lobbyists "tea Bag" you to qualify first. 

 /Sarcasum-off

Coz
Coz

Amazing....once more Pearce and his fellow retards think they are above the law...

Captainobvious
Captainobvious

...just like illegal aliens and their enablers.  turns out, no one gives a shit about laws that they disagree with.  who knew?

Tina
Tina

Oh I think people give a shit.  It's just not local government's prerogative to write and enforce their own immigration laws that are inconsistent with federal immigration law.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Can you really expect those that write the laws to follow the law?  What about Legislative immunity?

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

More taxpayer money wasted by Russell Pearce and his minions. 

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

This is a lesson learned straight of Joke Arpayaso's and Rus_SELL Pe-ARCE's book, they know it's illegal, they know they have to comply, but they will stretch it out as long as they can, if those signs can be up another 5 days they consider that a battle won, hell the clown sheriff held out for years against Federal investigators before finally agreeing to cooperate, and ofcourse he had his document schreders and erasers working overtime during all this time.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Shouldn't the facial photo be facing the other direction?

Seems the guy is especially fond of posteriors.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

I just wonder if that's JD Hayward's wife/horse!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

If the Tolbaby doesn't remove his signes by Monday, the city should do it and charge him $250 for each one for doing so.

mirele
mirele

Darn. I really wanted to take all those eyesores down this weekend. However, if they're up when I get off work Monday afternoon, I'll do the city a favor and take them down myself. I'm tired of the illegal clutter tackying up the near east side of Mesa.

Clontarf
Clontarf

Nice mock-up photo, although it's an insult to the horse.....

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I was thinking the same thing.  What a beautiful horse with a substantial ass blemish.

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