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Prineville PD: Man who took down campaign signs cited traffic hazard


A man who took down some campaign signs in Prineville in recent days told police he did so because they were creating a hazardous situation and blocking drivers’ view near a street corner, the police chief said Monday.

Over the weekend, Prineville City Councilor and Crook County Commission candidate Jason Carr said several of his signs were stolen, vandalized or knocked down in recent days, as well as those of other candidates.

Police Chief Dale Cummins told NewsChannel 21 on Monday, “We did identify the person who knocked the signs over” at Northeast Third Street and Locust Avenue.

“He stated that he did this after making a request the signs be moved due to the hazardous situation they caused by blocking the traffic’s field of view,” Cummins said.

“The officer looked for himself and found that ‘all the signs together create a visual blocking of oncoming traffic from the east,'” the police chief added. “The signs were leaned against a building so that they could be replaced with safety in mind.”

But Cummins added that the officer’s report didn’t indicate who the man said he made the request for sign relocation to — and Carr said they had received no such request, and had received no complaints.

“My sign had been up for two months in that location without official complaints (to) the city or the police department,” Carr wrote, “and nobody contacted me personally to tell me that my sign was a problem.”

“Had anyone told me they felt my sign was in the way, I would have happily moved it or taken it down,” he added. “Unfortunately, this person took it upon himself to damage personal property and trespass on private property on numerous occasions to make a point.”

Carr said he believed the person contacted by police “is obviously lying and trying to use safety as a justification for damaging personal property.”

Carr also said the sign was 12 feet from the intersection corner and sidewalk. He said he made sure it wasn’t a visual hazard, and had received no complaints.

A sign for county Surveyor David Armstrong’s re-election also was knocked down; Carr noted that campaign put their sign between his and the sidewalk, “so his sign was right up against the sidewalk, where mine was not.”

“But it’s campaign season. Politics is personal, and politics can be ugly. It will soon be over, and we can all get back to our normal lives, without campaign signs in our faces.”

A few weeks ago, in Powell Butte, five signs for current county commissioner and county judge candidate Ken Fahlgren were vandalized.

On Saturday, Carr, one of seven candidates seeking Fahlgren’s commission seat, said he’s had a dozen yard signs disappear over the past several days, and large signs vandalized.

It started earlier in the week and has continued through the weekend, he said in a news release.

“I went to mow the lawn Saturday morning and noticed both of the signs in my yard were missing, which caught my attention since a larger sign was vandalized earlier in the week,” Carr said

Carr said a community member contacted him on Wednesday, letting him know that his large sign at the corner of Locust and 3 rd Street was knocked over. The sign was put back up — and then knocked over two more times, he said.

In fact, one of the workers at the Shell gas station across the street witnessed it being knocked down.

Carr said he understood another commissioner candidate, Jerry Brummer, had signs stolen as well.

He said it’s really frustrating to have this happen, because community members help pay for those signs through campaign contributions to local candidates.

“Apparently my signs are really popular right now, but not in a good way,” Carr said. “At least the primary is almost over, because we’re all suffering from a bit of sign fatigue.”

Carr asked county citizens to keep their eyes out for the vandals and to contact him or police if they see anything suspicious.

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