The Georgia Department of Transportation stripped an abundance of signs from the right of ways of several major highways in Heard County recently much to the chagrin of several local political candidates.
Signs from nearly every local political candidate in addition to many local businesses were retrieved by the DOT during the last few days of June. The signs were dumped off at the local DOT headquarters on Old Field Rd.
The DOT maintains a policy that signs are not allowed on the right of ways. Several candidates voiced displeasure not at the removal of the signs but at the fact that many of the expensive signs were destroyed and unable to be recycled for future use.
Several local citizens contacted HeardCitizen.com stating that signs had been removed from their yards which they thought were well outside the right of way.
District DOT engineer Havard Seldon stated that signs were only removed from the right of ways. He added that signs are always removed as part of routine maintenance.
When asked about the damage to the signs, Seldon stated that signs were only required to be put on the yard at DOT headquarters and held for thirty days before being destroyed.
Several candidates who were interviewed stated they were not clear on exactly where they could or could not post signs. Seldon was unable to provide exact right of way measurements instead saying that typically signs posted behind utility poles were considered to be in compliance.
The DOT did not discriminate as signs were taken up from nearly all candidates. One candidate did state that he felt it unfair that signs were only removed from some state highways while others were left in tact.
The Georgia DOT maintains the following highways: US Hwy 27, Hwy 34, Hwy 219, and Hwy 100.
County officials stated that every effort was being made to allow signs to remain on the smaller county roads as long as they did not cause any complaints or obstructions.
The amount of signage is likely to be reduced after the primary on July 31 when several candidates will be eliminated.