RIPON — Campaign sign security around the Ripon community was not a problem in 2008 for City Councilman Charlie Gay as it has been this week with the elimination of three of his 4 x 8 foot color signs with a loss totaling $450.
Two disappeared either late Friday night or early Saturday morning, all at roadside locations, where he had gotten permission from property owners to display them, Gay said.
The first one to go missing had been placed near the curb in front of Dean Uecker’s Insurance office in the 1400 block of West Main Street with the OK of the fellow city council member. Gay had gone on vacation and when he returned that sign was missing, he said.
The insurance man had found it stashed between the side of his building and some hedges, urging Gay to put another at that location. It had been bent in two, apparently by a vandal or vandals. Other candidates’ signs in front of that building went untouched.
The large signs taken over the weekend had been placed on Arc Way and Milgeo Avenue near the northbound Highway 99 off ramp into the city and on the west side of North Ripon Road, north of River Road.
As of Sunday afternoon Gay said he still had six large signs dotting the community adding that he was keeping a watchful eye on them along with smaller signs he has on display asking for a second term on the council. Of the seven candidates running for city council, no one else has reported damage or theft of their signage.
In addition to serving four years on the city council, Gay has also served four years as a planning commissioner after four years’ service on the city’s economic development panel.
The Ripon Police Department has been alerted to keep an eye out for anyone damaging or attempting to steal the campaign signs.