This periodic “advice column” addresses common questions about the Hickory Ridge village covenants and other property maintenance concerns. To keep it interesting, your questions are answered by a local feline who is surprisingly well-versed in covenant issues. This cat may or may not be an overweight orange tabby named Boo Boo that lives with the Village Manager. Send your burning questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Covenant Cat:
The primary election is over. What can be done about the abundance of political signs that are still visible all over Hickory Ridge?
-Disgruntled on Dark Fire
I agree that political signs can be unsightly, especially the very large ones. They are littering our streets and highways, and I am not amewsed. However, the Howard County sign code allows those who won in the primaries to keep their signs up through the general election in November. Those who lost on June 24 must take their signs down*. The other thing that really rubs my fur the wrong way is signs that are placed illegally. Political signs should not be in the county right-of-way or on any Howard County or Columbia Association (CA) property. If you see a sign that you suspect is placed illegally, you can report it online at howardcountymd.gov (follow the link under the tab “I Want To”) or by calling 410-313-1823**.
*Although the sign code technically states that election losers have to take down their signs within one week following the election, Covenant Cat recently learned that this is not really enforceable. The ACLU has won several legal cases nationwide that have established that a jurisdiction can’t require someone to remove a political sign because it would violate that person’s right to free speech. Recently, this was an issue in Hancock, Maryland.
** This is a corrected phone number. The wrong number was printed in the July 10 LOG. Oops! (Hey, I’m only a cat.)