Campaign signs larger than a bumper sticker will no longer be allowed on county-owned property — including the Courthouse parking lot.
Rogers County Commissioners passed a resolution Monday restricting campaigning for county offices on county-owned property. The resolution was presented by Rogers County Assistant District Attorney Barry Farbro after several complaints from the public concerning campaign signs on display at several area county courthouses. The complaints were not only in Rogers County, but Mayes and Craig counties as well.
All three entities were presented with the same resolution, which was passed in Rogers County.
The resolution prevents county employees from using county funds, property or time to conduct campaign business, such as fundraising or campaigning. It also restricts not only county employees, but ordinary citizens, from campaigning on county-owned property, such as the courthouse parking lot.
A few cars parked in the Rogers County Courthouse parking lot have displayed signs larger than a bumper sticker bearing candidates’ names. Those signs will have to be removed, or the vehicles parked elsewhere — off county property.
Another item in the resolution addresses those campaigning in county uniform, or with a county name badge. This too is prohibited if the county official or employee is campaigning for a candidate while wearing items that would clearly identify them as county employees.
Included in the resolution is an item that restricts county employees from wearing any buttons or badges that display a candidate’s name, while on duty.
Some elected officials were concerned with a suggestion from Farbro in the initial discussion of the resolution that would restrict any county employees from running for a county office. That suggestion, however, was not included in the final resolution.
“That was taken out,” Farbro told commissioners Monday. “That was one of the most talked about things that we mentioned last week. It has been removed.”
According to Oklahoma Statutes, the county commission does have the power to “make all orders respecting the real property of the county.”
Any county employee who violates the resolution may be subject to disciplinary action, including a verbal or written reprimand, suspension with pay, suspension without pay or termination of employment.
In addition, any county employee or other person who displays signs larger than a bumper sticker (15 inches by 5 inches) on their vehicle parked on county property may be removed from county property or have their vehicle removed from the property, at his/her expense. They may also be subject to prosecution for trespassing.