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Holts Summit board discusses updated sign ordinance

Holts Summit board discusses updated sign ordinance

November 12th, 2017 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

The sign outside Holts Summit City Hall at 213 South Summit Drive is shown above.

Photo by Connor Pearson /Fulton Sun.

The Holts Summit Board of Alderman delayed a vote on an updated signage ordinance Thursday evening to give the public time to respond.

"I don't know whether we've gotten enough input from the citizens," Ward 2 Councilmember Charles Chamberlin said.

The board had been scheduled to give Bill No. 2017-73 its final reading and passage, but members moved to delay it until the next meeting.

According to City Attorney David Bandre, the changes to the ordinance are necessary because of a recent federal court case.

"The ordinance we have right now, as of April, will be unenforceable," Bandre said. "The bulk of the changes are related to political signs."

He described a recent case in which a city told someone to remove a "Support the Troops" sign from a yard on the grounds city statutes limited the amount of time a political sign could remain up. Courts eventually ruled a sign stating an opinion is free speech, and therefore protected.

However, Bandre said, municipalities may still restrict the size of signs. They may also impose time limits on signs relating to a specific candidate or issue on a ballot.

Those interested in reading the updated ordinance can get a copy at City Hall.

During the meeting, aldermen also discussed the proposed 2018 budget. New items included purchasing a permanent generator for City Hall in case of power outages and acquiring an emergency management vehicle.

City Administrator Rick Hess said the city is also hoping to raise pay for Holts Summit police, in order to keep pace with Fulton Police Department and the Callaway County Sheriff's Department's salaries. Hess hopes a higher salary will encourage police to stick with the city for longer.

"We don't want to just be a training ground," Hess said.