Roeland Park homeowner keeps Trump yard signs despite facing heavy fine

Homeowner keeps up Trump yard signs despite fine
Homeowner keeps up Trump yard signs despite fine
Posted at 5:25 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 18:49:29-04

For Matt Donegan, his political allegiance started with a small handful of yard signs outside his Roeland Park home.

When he felt his First Amendment rights were in jeopardy, he made an even bigger statement. 

"It's a free speech thing. You guys are 100 percent violating Kansas law and First Amendment rights," Donegan told the city of Roeland Park, according to the homeowner during a phone interview with 41 Action News.  

Donegan was given two notices by the city to remove the signs and given 10 days to comply. 

"At that point I decided to put up another, oh, 30 signs," he said. 

It was then neighbors began to take notice. 

"He's taken this process a little bit too far," said Dennis Way, who lives down the street from the home at 55th and Ash.

Kansas passed a law in 2015 giving homeowners permission to have an unlimited number of political signs on their property 45 days prior to an election. 

But the city of Roeland Park believes that law is unconstitutional. 

"They believe that the ordinance from the state is unconstitutional because it's regulating based upon content. Which according to the Supreme Court ruling, you can't regulate signage based on content," said Jennifer Jones Lacy, assistant city administrator of Roeland Park. 

Roeland Park continues to enforce its own city ordinance, which allows only three temporary signs in one’s yard at a time, three square feet or smaller. Their law is regarding any temporary signs, and doesn't single out political signs like the new Kansas law does. The Supreme Court struck down a law similar to the new Kansas statute in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona in 2015. 

Jones Lacy said if homeowners don't comply with their ordinance they could face a $500 fine in municipal court. 

Donegan said that although many signs came down for Halloween, he will be setting up his full display once again before the November 8 election and is ready to fight the fine in court. 

"When it comes to being worried about the fine, I'm not at all worried about that," said Donegan. 

Neighbors like Way are still wary, claiming some signs have been lewd, especially after some of Donegan's signs went missing. 

"The next sign was, ‘My aim with my gun is much better than the aim with my camera.’ I think that's taking it a little too far, threatening to assassinate someone for taking your signs," said Way. "Lots of kids walk around here to and from school. But he'd also have some very vulgar signs."



Josh Helmuth can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter:

Follow @Jhelmuth

Connect on Facebook: