Missoula’s primary will happen next week on Tuesday, June 7, and political yard signs are out in full force. City of Missoula compliance officer Charmell Owens says her office is receiving between five and ten calls a day concerning improperly placed political signs.

“Right now our offices are mainly complaint driven," Owens said. "So, usually people will call our front desk at development services. They’ll issue a complaint that a sign is in the right of way or in a clear view triangle, so it might be impeding traffic. So we’re asked to remove those signs because they become a traffic hazard.”

Owens says sign removal is usually driven by a public safety concern and there are a number of reasons a sign might need to be moved.

“Signs have to be on private property and, of course, that’s with the consent of the property owner,” Owens said. “They’re limited to a maximum of 20 square feet in size. One of the things we ask candidates is to please not put them within 100 feet of any entrance of a building where there is a polling place that’s located in that area.”

Of course, signs are not permitted on city right-of-ways, including areas between the sidewalk and the curb. They are also not allowed on medians or in traffic circles.

When the city removes a sign, Owens says they are usually taken to the city shop where politicians can pick them up and prepare to plant them at a new location.