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ACLU: Cotati's Political Sign Ordinance is UnConstitutional.


Some signs in Cotati get a wink and a nod from fellow Democrats at City Hall when others do not. Getting a "free pass" in Cotati is about who you know... (photo: July 2004). Isn't that Ed Gilardi's truck parked in downtown Cotati in the public right of way with a big political sign in the back? ACLU comments on the unconstitutionality of city ordinances that ban political signs.




Election Day, 2002, in front of Veteran's Hall, Cotati polling place. Nothing was done about this violation despite numerous complaints. That's why some call it "Silly Season".



This car was parked on Cotati Avenue for three weeks during the day before the election of 2004 without incident. How many times Joan Simon drove by and smiled at it is unknown. This sign was provided by Adrienne Lauby of the No on B group in Cotati. Is there a double standard with these Recall knuckleheads now complaining and whining at City Hall for code enforcement?



In 2006, this truck was parked legally without incident on East Cotati Avenue for weeks on end and set a new standard for allowing mobile campaign signs in Cotati, protecting bumper stickers and free speech.



Where was John Moore and the Cotati Police Department when this sign graced our city park for two weeks in 2007? It was so messed up for so many days in a row, I had to take a photo of it just in case the Cotati Historical Society every need proof of Cotati's selective code enforcement policy for a display at the Museum.



"Take that all you PRO LOWES folks ." Shelley B.



Cotati citizens complained about this eyesore for years. But the city claimed that since the sign was mobile, it did not fit within the sign ordinance, and there was nothing the city could do about it.




Even city council member's complaints about these signs can't get them removed by city staff. Excuse given: "We simply don't have the staff, George. You understand..."



Nah, This sign is not in the public right of way; not at all. It's just a launch ramp for passing bicyclists.



This is a typical "sign alley" in Cotati where the public right of way is graced with signs every day.




Mobile signs on the sidewalks which block pedestrians and distract drivers operate freely in Cotati.



This sign, clearly a hazard to drivers in the public right of way, appears in Cotati each week. Despite numerous complaints to the city, it continues to bring its advertisment to the masses and the city seems helpless to do anything about it. When Old Red was redisigned to a two lane roadway, many citizens complained the change from four lanes to two would create a hazardous condition for truck deliveries and motorists in the Historic Downtown area. But the city did not listen to reason. Motorists and bicyclists are forced to cross the double yellow line to get around delivery trucks in the downtown area and risk injury to themselves and others manuevering around these trucks.



One of the biggest offenders of the local sign ordinance is the city itself, which often places its own signs in the public right of way. This sign greets the public coming into town just off Myrtle Street and Old Red. In talking with Asst. City Manager, Dennis Dorch about this double standard a few years ago, he said, " George, the city can do what it wants. Understand something. Laws apply to every one else..." It's that kind of arrogance of power that has lead to the popularity of candidates for change in Cotati who try to bring respectability back to local government.