Mountain View Voice

News - February 7, 2014

District takes aim at illegal banners

Youth sports teams may have to rein in signs on school property

By Katie Straub

Members of the Mountain View Whisman school district board discussed placing tighter restrictions on banners promoting youth sports in non-certified public spaces during a school district board meeting Jan. 23. A vote on the topic was set for the Feb. 6 board meeting.

The banners in question are used by local baseball, softball and soccer teams to advertise season registrations. However, the banners are often placed in non-certified public spaces, most commonly on fences outside schools.

"When you see a Little League banner on the fence of a school, it is hung illegally," said Superintendent Craig Goldman during the district meeting. "And, actually, it has been hung illegally by an organization that knows it's not allowed."

The city of Mountain View approved a policy last October mandating that youth sports organizations hang banners in only three designated areas: Eagle Park, Rengstorff Park, and McKelvey Field. The same policy requires the groups to give their banners to city staff to hang in designated areas and remove after eight weeks.

However, this policy is not always respected. School board trustee Steve Nelson said during the meeting,"I live outside Bubb School and I can tell you that, at Little League time, there are banners up there. But as a property owner and someone who has not always been involved in Little League, it doesn't really bother me."

Any illegal hanging of banners outside this policy is "a burden on maintenance staff and a burden on city staff," said Goldman. "If banners aren't (legally hung), they are left up there long after registration."

Goldman proposed during the meeting that the city and the school district jointly add Slater School (along Whisman Road) and Crittenden Middle School (along Middlefield Road) as two additional legal locations for the banners.

Slater and Crittenden were identified by the city as strategic locations with high visibility to passing traffic.

The school district board was largely receptive to the idea and is set to make a decision at its next meeting Feb. 6.

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