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It’s political season

Candidate signs are appearing around town
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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If residents didn’t already know that it’s election season, they do now. That’s due to City Council candidate signs popping up this week on numerous street corners and neighborhood yards. And the amounts the six candidates have spent on their campaigns so far have varied, from about $400 for Reid Barney to $12,000 for Richard Pearl. Jeff Greenberg said he has spent about $1,200 on his campaign so far, Gabriel Hydrick has spent “under $2,000,” Stan Nader has spent $10,000 and incumbent Linda Stackpoole declined to say as she didn’t have the “audited totals” for her campaign yet. Lawn signs are what Barney will primarily place around town, which will cost about $5 a piece. “I talked to different companies to make sure I got the best price,” Barney said, citing shopping around for good prices as a reason why he hasn’t done much advertising for his campaign yet. Barney said he has “been getting my name out by passing out business cards” with his website and information about his candidacy, “and is spending little” on his campaign by using his web site and You Tube videos as ways to promote his campaign. “I think it’s so hypocritical how much money people are spending on their political campaigns overall in this economy,” Barney said, citing the last presidential election and current gubernatorial race. “There’s a way to get things done and not spend a lot of money.” Barney said the $405 spent on his campaign includes $80 for business cards and $80 for two higher quality lawn signs. He anticipates spending $1,500 on his campaign. With six four-by-eight foot signs around Lincoln, Jeff Greenberg said he registered his sign locations with the city and made his $250 sign deposit to the city on Monday. Greenberg, with the help of a friend, placed a sign at the corner of Bella Breeze Drive and Joiner Parkway on Tuesday afternoon. His sign joined signs advertising the campaigns of Richard Pearl and Stan Nader. Greenberg said he’s spending very little on his campaign. “The city is in trouble and residents are suffering economically,” Greenberg said. Running an expensive campaign “is not the way to do it,” according to Greenberg. Greenberg said he has spent $1,295 on his campaign, “all of it has been paid out of my own pocket.” Gabriel Hydrick said he has some yard signs up around town but doesn’t have the bigger signs that other candidates do because of his “small campaign budget.” “What’s mostly behind that is we’re a young family and don’t have a lot of funds,” Hydrick said. “Any donations that people would like to make, I’ll accept them but I’m not one to ask for money.” Hydrick said he’s spent “under $2,000” for his campaign so far. So far, Nader has spent $10,000 for his campaign, which includes “campaign stuff like buttons, stationary and ads in the paper.” Richard Pearl said he paid his sign deposit and has placed 4-by-8 foot signs around Lincoln, with some on Joiner Parkway, including the intersections at First Street and Bella Breeze Drive. “You want the best visibility in order for people to see your name,” Pearl said. “I’m not a third- generation Lincolnite and I haven’t been on City Council.” Pearl said he’s “the best qualified,” and needs to “get my name out.” “I have been holding a lot of coffees for people around town,” Pearl said. “I talk about my qualifications and answer questions.” When asked how much he has spent on his campaign, Pearl directed The News Messenger to contact City Hall for his “Recipient Committee Campaign Statement” form. That form shows that Pearl has spent $806.41 on his campaign, as of June 30. The News Messenger asked Pearl on Wednesday how much he spent on his campaign since June 30 and Pearl was hesitant at first to give the number. He said that figure would be available after he filed his next campaign statement form, which is due in October. After being told the other candidates have released how much they’ve spent so far, Pearl said the estimated figure for what he has spent is $12,000, which has been for “campaign materials” including yard signs, advertisements, as well as nail files and buttons advertising his campaigns. When asked how much has been spent on the election, Stackpoole said she’s “working on the completion of her 460 form,” also known as the Recipient Committee Campaign Statement “I am working on completion of that form,” Stackpoole wrote. “Don’t have a audited total yet.” Candidates following sign ordinance All six City Council candidates were asked about political signs they will place or have placed around Lincoln and how they are following sign requirements set by Ordinance 827B of the Lincoln Municipal Code. Barney said he has paid the $250 deposit for any signs he will place around Lincoln and will “make sure the signs are taken down in proper time.” Candidates have to pay a $250 deposit and provide a map of where signs are located, according to the ordinance, as well as provide a copy of the private property owner’s permission for where signs are placed. As per the ordinance, political signs can be no bigger than 32 square feet, can’t be placed on public property, can’t be put up 60 days before the election and must be taken down within 21 days of the election. Using signs from his City Council candidacy two years ago is Stan Nader. “I’m a great fan recycling and reusing, whenever possible,” Nader said. As far as where his 4-by8 foot signs have gone so far, Nader said he contacted all of the property owners of the locations with his signs. “You pick the spots where there’s the most traffic and where they’re (voters) stopped,” Nader said. “I have a fair supply of big ones (signs) but I may not use them all because I don’t want to overdo it.” Stackpoole said she’s paid her $250 deposit to the city and is getting permission from property owners to put her campaign signs up. Ordinance 827B talks about what happens when political signs are not “properly regulated,” saying they can “contribute to visual clutter, confusion, aesthetic blight, and create an unpleasant impression,” which could cause the signs to “fail to achieve their original objective of communication.” The ordinance also says the city would like to keep structures within the city, such as utility poles, benches and sidewalks, “for their intended purpose, which is the safe efficient and pleasant movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and safe operations of utility services,” so signs cannot “be placed on public property or within any public right-of-way.”