Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Francis Suarez must take down their enormous, and illegal, campaign signs by early August.
In certified letters sent last week, the city’s code compliance director, Orlando Diez, gave all candidates in the upcoming November elections a 30-day window to comply with city code.
“I don’t want to know who has more signs. What I want is for all the candidates to comply,” Diez said, adding that it’s the property owners and not the candidates who face fines if illegal signs are still up after 30 days.
His office had fielded several complaints from residents about Regalado’s and Suarez’s giant signs, including some that measure more than 55 square feet. According to city code, political signs can’t measure more than 4 square feet in residential areas, and 15 square feet in the rest of the city.
El Nuevo Herald reported earlier this month about the city’s lack of code enforcement on the elected officials’ illegal signs.
Diez said he’d been studying the issue for more than a month and wanted to ensure that he wasn’t infringing on the candidates’ constitutional rights by asking them to take down the signs.
Regalado said he’s already told the printing shop to stop making signs that don’t comply with code and reiterated a promise to take down all illegal signs by the end of the month.
Suarez said that “there was no conscious decision to break the rules” and said he will comply with code. He also criticized the media’s attention of the issue.
“I’ve been around politics for more than 30 years and I’ve never heard this much discussion about yard signs,” said Suarez, whose dad is a former Miami mayor. “It seems like we’re dissolving into issues that are not that important in the city.”