The sign scene

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 14, 2006

The City Council race is interesting to watch with candidate employing varied tactics to get voters’ attention.

Of course the big way is signs and, perhaps I’m just spending too much time downtown, but it looks to me like Charles Parr whose running against Mayor Bobby Ralph in the Suffolk borough, far and away has the largest sign campaign going.

I was delivering my Meals on Wheels Route Wednesday and I swear it looked like virtually every house on Katherine Street had a Parr sign in the yard.


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I don’t think I even saw a Ralph sign until yesterday, a large one on Pinner Street, just before you get to Ed’s Place.

It used to be that local elections were about knocking on doors and talking to people. Not anymore, a local politico told me recently.

“People just don’t like people knocking on their door unannounced,” he said.

It made sense to me. I can’t stand people knocking on the door. My home is my space and unless I call you and invite you over, please stay away. I don’t even like phone calls and screen every one I get. It’s obnoxious and intrusive.

So what does that leave the local candidate? Signs.

Both Jeff Gardy and incumbent Calvin Jones appear to be prolific signers, falling just slightly shy of Parr.

Jones, however, has gone an extra step. Not only is he continuing knocking on doors (Hope he doesn’t get shot or something), but as a reader of this site pointed out the other day, he has a Web site at I checked it out and it seemed to be a decent site with various photos of the councilman/candidate turning shovels of dirt and otherwise working for Suffolk. I am not aware of any other candidate who has anything similar going on, although when I typed in, I went to a site, but it merely had the name in the top left and a black screen. Perhaps it’s something in progress?

I’m not sure how effective a Web site as a get out the vote tool, though it may help with fundraising. The problem is that you have to promote a Web site. It’s of little use just sitting out there in cyber space by itself. It needs lots of links to it and publicity.

I’m not aware of much of anything going on in the Chuckatuck Race, though I did see a large Mary Hill sign on Crittenden Road earlier this week.

Look for a lot more signs in the coming days/weeks. Apparently the reason they are so popular is because they work, providing that important top of mind awareness.