Turkey Creek Neighbors Question Sign Removal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/29/03

Turkey Creek Neighbors Question Sign Removal

Turkey Creek residents remain upset over a proposed development they fear will make flooding in their community even worse.

It's that ongoing disagreement which led to Mayor Ken Comb's remarks that offended many residents.

However, the latest controversy involves not words, but signs. Neighbors are upset over a code enforcement crackdown that removed many Sierra Club signs promoting clean air and water.

Some residents are accusing the city of "selective enforcement".

Dashawn Thompson wears his Turkey Creek tee shirt with pride.

"It started off from a softball team. But now some of us wear it to support Turkey Creek," he explained.

Thompson and several of his neighbors on Rippy Road are supporting a clean environment by posting these signs in their front yards. He was surprised when the city removed signs that were too close to the road.

"They just do all kind of stuff that we have no control over you know. No telling what's next," said Thompson, while talking with a reporter on his front porch.

Flowers White replaced his sign in the front yard after mowing the grass. He's certain it's not in city right of way. He watched the code enforcement officer removing several others.

"Yeah, they pick and choose where they want to go. They've never been out here before picking up anything," he said.

Some accuse the city of selective enforcement. Including the Ward 3 city council member, Ella Holmes-Hines.

"Most of us do believe it's selective enforcement. Because if you drive through this city you see irregular signs that should not be in place throughout the entire city," she said.

John Wear is the code enforcement officer who removed the illegal signs along Rippy Road.

"This is a one day representation of signs that I took," said Wear, as he pointed to a pile of signs in the back of his pick up truck.

Removing signs from city right of way is all in a day's work for Wear. He says the recent enforcement along Rippy Road stems from a long standing understanding.

"That along that part of our community there are some derelict vehicles and illegal signs. It just so happened to be these signs this time," said the code enforcement officer.

Wear met with neighbors and returned the Sierra Club signs he removed. They can be still posted in yards, just not in city right of way.

Some of the Turkey Creek neighbors accuse the mayor of ordering the sign removal. Mayor Ken Combs was out of the office Thursday. His spokesperson told WLOX News the first he knew about the sign removal was after they'd been taken down by code enforcement.

By Steve Phillips

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