Mesa is continuing to crack down on illegally placed campaign signs in a year when the city says 95 percent of them violate city codes. Mesa removed more than 1,500 signs in a crackdown that began two weeks ago, said Tammy Albright, deputy development services director.
The problem got worse this year in part because budget cuts forced the city to shrink its code compliance staff from 18 to seven employees. The smaller staff was focusing on more critical issues, Albright said, but turned to the signs after hundreds of them began blocking visibility at intersections or preventing pedestrian access.
"It just got a little out of hand," Albright said. "It got to the point where there were some serious hazards and dangers."
Warnings were sent to candidates, Albright said, but most failed to remove the signs on their own. The city will destroy signs not claimed in 30 days. Mesa can issue citations, but Albright said the city has not done that yet.