Every election cycle, candidate signs pop up all over the area, trying to sway and influence voters. Every election, many of these signs are reported stolen and missing.
Republican Don Pumphrey is running against incumbent Democrat Doris Maloy for Leon County Tax Collector. Wednesday afternoon, he had to retrieve his campaign signs after the city admitted to taken some of them accidentally.
Pumphrey says, "Well I'd like my signs returned for one thing. The signs are not only expensive, but they serve a useful purpose."
The city says the signs were thought to have been in an area the city has to maintain, the right of way. "The challenge for us is the right of way is not a specified distance from the curb. We tell politicians to place their signs behind the utility pole or ten feet from the curb," says Brenda Tanner of City of Tallahassee.
But this morning, one private business owner says his Don Pumphrey signs were taken from his property, even after he proved the property belonged to him. "My issue is not political. It's not for one candidate or another. It's the trampling of private property rights. The city apparently doesn't have any regard for private property rights and came on my property," says Clay Ketcham, a private business owner.
Tanner says, "Where this location is, the right of way is right up to the curb, so they had correctly placed their signs. But unfortunately, our city employees don't have the maps around to check where the right of way is."
The city has called to apologize to Pumphrey and Ketcham. Pumphrey says he just hopes this mistake isn't made again.
Two other private property owners have reported that their Don Pumphrey Campaign signs were taken. The city has returned the larger signs, but the smaller signs had to be retrieved by Pumphrey.