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Here Come the Signs

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

Since starting my campaign to be your Representative, I’ve heard from some of you concerning the plethora of signs that now “grace” our roadways.  Some – like “Farm Stand Ahead” -- are useful, and help support our local economy, while others, such as those that urge us to vote one way or another (or for specific people) hope to enlighten us.

I’ll admit it – I have mixed feelings about signs. Like the lyrics of Five Man Electrical Band’s song, I hate the way signs take away from Maine’s natural beauty and interfere with our enjoyment of a walk around town, or peaceful drive through the countryside. Especially in the fall, signs remind me of unwelcome square mushrooms, sprouting overnight almost everywhere we look.

And yet, as a Realtor I know that signs do work. Studies have shown that next to the Internet, those ubiquitous “For Sale” signs are the most effective way for people to notice a property. When I work with sellers, I always counsel them to plant that dreaded square sign in their yard. If you want to sell your house, it makes sense.

As far as politics go, signs have been shown to establish name recognition and can swing a close election. But I will be the first to say that as a form of visual pollution, they still drive me nuts. Even more annoying  is a recent state law change that went into effect on the first of August, allowing politically related signs to be placed in the public right of way for 12 weeks a year. That’s twice as long as previous limits!

And then there are the materials with which signs are constructed. No plastic for me – that was an easy decision. Instead I’m using cardboard signs, silkscreened by volunteers, (thank you!) along with hand-painted wooden signs, some of them created in our back yard. The wood has been recycled, as have the wickets and much of the cardboard. I consider it good luck that some of my signs are from Rep. John Spear’s last campaign.

I’m working hard to become your voice in Augusta, and signs are a part of the process.  You’ll see them cropping up over the next week, and let me know if I can deliver one to your door.  If we haven’t had a chance to talk, I hope you’ll see a sign and reach out. In the meantime, I promise to be mindful of where my signs are placed. Rest assured that once we’ve cast our votes on November 6th, my signs will be promptly picked up and stored safely away, having done their job.


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