One of the low-wattage aspects of the current Democratic Primary race in Howard County District 4 has been the Klein campaign’s repeated violation of County sign laws. If you drive around western Columbia, you will find Klein signs planted in the county right-of-ways, in median strips, and just about anywhere there is enough dirt to plant them. Although the Klein campaign has been asked, more than once, to remove the signs from illegal locations, the practice continues.
It is my understanding that Alan Klein has weighed in on this himself, saying that because the county had said that it would not enforce laws this year, he can put signs just anywhere he chooses. The laws that the county is not enforcing deal with elections. That is to say, signs that exceed the regulated size restriction or the duration that they are up before the election will not be taken down. However, laws regarding sign placement are still in effect. Signs are not to be placed in right of ways.
The Klein sign above is especially troubling. It is not only in the County right of way, it is blocking access to a fire hydrant, raising issues of the Klein’s disregard to public safety. And for those of you who think this is not a big deal, look again and think of your kitchen on fire, and how a firefighter explains to you that they may have gotten to the fire a minute or two earlier, but they had to remove a sign to gain access to the fire hydrant.
I think this reflects Klein’s approach to most topics. Regardless of what the law says, or the county policy, it is his interpretation of that law and policy that matters. In yesterday’s Columbia Flier, a fellow Wilde Lake resident spoke of hubris in this year’s primary. I think the picture above demonstrates the hubris evident in this election much more clearly.