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Edmond city staff members will verify signatures on petitions to ban electronic messages

Initiative petitions with 1,109 signatures asking for a vote to ban electronic signs have been turned over to the city clerk. City staff members will verify the signatures.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: May 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014

City staff members received an official list of qualified Edmond voters from the Oklahoma County Election Board this week so they can determine if 1,109 signatures on initiative petitions to ban electronic signs are valid.

Former Mayors Randel Shadid, Dan O’Neil and Saundra Naifeh, who are opposed to the electronic message signs, collected the signatures in 90 days.

City council members passed an ordinance on Jan. 13 allowing electronic message signs along arterial streets and roads such as Broadway, Edmond Road, Second Street and Interstate 35. The new ordinance is stricter than those in most cities, they said.

The vote was 3-2 with council members Elizabeth Waner and Darrell Davis opposing the motion.

Shadid said the signs will diminish the beauty of Edmond.

Opponents need 644 valid signatures for the council to call for an election to let the voters decide if they want to ban electronic signs in Edmond.

“Hopefully there will not be clutter in the city with these signs,” Shadid said.

City Clerk Ross VanderHamm said now that city staff members have the CD of valid voters, they will be able to get started validating the names.

“There is no specific time frame when the names have to be checked,” VanderHamm said. “We want to get it done as soon as possible.”

The ordinance allowing electronic signs remains in effect. However, City Attorney Steve Murdock said there have been no applications filed or approved since the law was approved.

The vote called as a result of the initiative petitions would be on the next city election.

“It will go on the next municipal ballot, which I believe is the first Tuesday of April 2015,” Murdock said. “And we will let the people decide.”

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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