That sign’s not allowed, Sen. Obama |

That sign’s not allowed, Sen. Obama

Somebody recently placed a Barack Obama sign in a grassy patch inside the Old Town roundabout, a highly visible spot to advertise the White House candidacy of the Democratic senator from Illinois.

But by Monday afternoon, the sign — blue and sporting the Obama campaign’s logo — was gone.

Rival candidate John McCain probably is not responsible for its disappearance.

More likely someone from City Hall or the Utah Department of Transportation removed the sign. Or a local Obama supporter realized that political signs are not allowed in the Old Town roundabout, or elsewhere on public property.

City Hall regulates where campaign signs are allowed and the size they can be, among other restrictions. Utah transportation officials, meanwhile, say people are not allowed to place signs in state rights of way, such as too close to the edge of a state highway.

In cases involving the roundabout, both City Hall and state officials are involved, with the state Department of Transportation controlling the property but City Hall maintaining the roundabout, according to Park City Manager Tom Bakaly.

People on their way to the upper reaches of Old Town, Snow Park and Silver Lake frequently drive through the roundabout. The sign was placed facing southbound traffic just in front of the stone landscaping.

Illicit campaign signs are sometimes seen in the Park City area, with many of them being placed in spots where they are not allowed.

City Hall also restricts campaign signs to a maximum of three square feet and requires that they not be taller than four feet above the ground. The city’s rules also require the signs be at least 20 feet from the curb, or, if the distance would place a sign inside a house, they may be put within three feet of the front of the building.

Campaigns signs are not allowed to be lit.

A local Obama official was unaware of the sign and declined to comment. An official with the Utah Democratic Party said the national Obama campaign produced the blue signs like the one that was in the roundabout. Signs made by the state party have a white background, said Bill Keshlear, the communications director for the state Democratic Party.

The state-level Democrats have had about 4,000 signs made, and the state leaders are distributing them for a suggested donation of $10.

In 2007 and 2008, Park City officials said, City Hall has handled two campaigns signs placed in spots where they are barred. One was placed to close to the curb on Main Street and one was attached to a Main Street balcony. City Hall said the owners of both properties removed the signs when they were told of the rules.

"It’s more than likely some supporter of Obama who’s doing it on his or her own, not realizing all the legality of it," Keshlear said of the sign that was in the roundabout, adding that he doubts someone with the state or national Democrats or an Obama official instructed someone to put the sign there.

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