A complaint in the Havre municipal elections came Wednesday, with someone reporting to the Havre Police Department that mayoral candidate Bob Rice, a Republican, had put up campaign signs before they could be legally erected.
Rice said this morning that the signs would be taken down today.
Under city code, the earliest campaign signs can be erected is 45 days before the election — which is Saturday.
“They had the right to do that,” Rice said about the complaint. “That’s what politics are all about.”
He already had to recall some campaign T-shirts he had made when someone complained about the lack of a disclaimer on the shirts, he added.
“I kind of anticipated all this stuff coming down,” he said.
A call to the Havre Police Department asking about the complaint filed Wednesday had not been returned by printing deadline this morning.
Democratic Havre City Council Janet Trethewey contacted the Havre Daily Wednesday about the signs. Trethewey, who is running unopposed for re-election this year, said this morning that she saw the signs Wednesday and knew that, under the ordinance, they could not be up until Saturday.
She did not file the complaint with the police, she said, but, “It’s pretty frustrating when the person who’s supposed to be in charge ignores or doesn’t know the laws.
Democratic Mayor Tim Solomon, who defeated Rice in his bid for a third term in 2009, said he did not file the complaint with the police, but has been telling people who asked him that they could not go up until Saturday.
“My thing was, I was getting a lot of people asking why my signs weren’t up yet … ,” he said. “It’s an ordinance, and I do honor the ordinances.”