Roeland Park officials say a Kansas law on political signs is unconstitutional

Posted at 7:04 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 07:23:52-04

For years, the city of Overland Park banned candidates and supporters from placing campaign signs in the right-of-way between streets and sidewalks.

This year, the city is allowing campaigns signs to be displayed in the 45 days leading up to an election, in order to comply with a new Kansas state law.

“Council decided to follow state law as it was given to us,” said Sean Reilly, a spokesman for the City of Overland Park.

Read about sign ordinances in Overland Park here.

The state law went into effect this year.

It prohibits cities and counties from regulating or prohibiting the placement of political signs on private property or unpaved right-of-way for city streets or county roads. The law allows signs to be posted 45 days before an election and two days following that election.

But 41 Action News discovered several cities, including Roeland Park, are not complying with the state law.

Roeland Park’s city manager, Keith Moody, spoke to 41 Action News over the phone. He said city councilmembers decided to enforce the city’s sign ordinance, which prohibits any type of signs.

Moody said the city views the state’s law as “unconstitutional” because it makes exceptions for only political signs. That, he said, conflicts with a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court Decision, which ruled sign ordinances must be content-neutral.



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