A Livermore resident is vowing not to remove an oversized political sign urging people to vote Republican until after the election Nov. 3, despite the threat of a $100-a-day fine from the city.
“We put up a sign in our back yard to encourage people to love America and vote Republican and the City of Livermore comes knocking at our door, threatening dire consequences if we don't take our sign down,” homeowner Dan Pierce said in a letter to The Independent.
Pierce, who recently returned to Livermore after 20 years running an orphanage in Romania, later said his message is important because he has seen the consequences of socialism, and fears that Democrats are pushing the country too far to the left.
“Socialism sounds great until you run out of money,” Pierce said. “Then everybody ends up poor. Socialism brings pain, poverty and suffering.”
The sign, which measures 6 by 8 feet, is affixed to a pergola in Pierce’s backyard, rising above his privacy fence and can be seen from Holmes Road near Vancouver Way.
Although he acknowledged that his sign violates the city’s ordinance, which restricts residential yard signs to four square feet, Pierce questioned whether it was his political message that attracted the city’s attention.
“Livermore use to be a very welcoming city and still is as long as you don't encourage people to vote Republican!" Pierce wrote.
But Livermore City Manager Marc Roberts said the dispute is solely about the size of the sign.
“The city has regulations that governs signs,” Roberts said. “There is a max of four square feet. This isn’t even close.”
Doug Martin, inspection and neighborhood preservation manager for the city, warned Pierce last week that the sign needed to come down by Monday, Oct. 26, or he would be issued a citation and face possible $100-a-day fines. Roberts said Monday afternoon he expects a citation to be issued Tuesday.
Still, Pierce said Monday evening that he plans to keep the sign up until after the election.
“I have better uses for the money,” Pierce said. “But this is a very important national election. I’ve had people stop to tell me how much they like the sign and its message. It’s in my backyard. Seems like the city could show some tolerance and let it stay up for a couple of weeks.”