EDMOND — Enough of the signatures on an initiative petition to ban electronic signs in Edmond are valid to call for a vote during the next general municipal election, set for April 7.
Council members Monday will decide whether to direct the administrative staff to prepare an ordinance calling for the election.
The petitions contained 1,109 signatures when turned in at City Hall on May 19 by former Mayors Saundra Naifeh, Dan O’Neil and Randal Shadid.
City Clerk Ross VanderHamm said city staff members counted 973 valid signatures during the verification process.
Those opposing the electronic signs needed 644 valid signatures for the city to call an election. They collected 339 more than that.
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.
“The three mayors who carried the petitions are happy,” Shadid said. “I think April 7 is a good time for an election. People will be able to concentrate on municipal issues.”
Also scheduled for the general election are the positions of mayor and wards 1 and 2 on the city council.
The ordinance allowing electronic signs remains in effect, said City Attorney Stephen Murdock.
The ballot wording to be considered by the council during the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave. states that electronic message signs are prohibited in the city and cannot be considered as a variance, except for time and temperature signs or gasoline pricing signs that otherwise comply with the city of Edmond sign code.
It would also repeal any conflicting ordinances.
The current law allows electronic signs with a message, but no graphics, and the message can only change every 30 seconds. Oklahoma City’s ordinance allows the message to change every 10 seconds.
The electronic message portion of the sign can only cover 75 percent of the allowed sign area. The illumination of the sign is measured in foot-candles.
A committee was appointed in 2010 to study electronic message signs in Edmond. The citizens committee took more than nine months to make a recommendation to the city council. Council members then held two workshops on the subject before adopting the ordinance.