You may have noticed some "Yes on Measure A" signs with the plaintive addendum: "Don't steal this sign." Ironically, a sign on Danville Boulevard saying "120 Yes on A signs were stolen" was itself stolen. Apparently signs touting incorporation as well as candidate signs have been disappearing to the tune of $1,000 or more. Also, very early on in the campaign - the day of the Alamo Wine and Music Festival - a campaign sign on a truck saying, "No incorporation" was vandalized.
Police are reported to be listening sympathetically but they also note that signs are destroyed and removed in all elections. Some residents are instructed to file the crimes online with the Sheriff's Department, so some harmed parties don't even get the satisfaction of making reports to a person who may sympathize and at least will listen and take notes.
When emotions run high, people are more apt to take matters into their own hands, ignoring the law. But it's this very emotional content of the battle for and against incorporation that makes it exceedingly frustrating when your property is destroyed.
Win or lose, this vote on incorporation is historic. It will be a shame when the election is over to remember it as a time of dirty politics - lies, exaggerations, and stolen and vandalized campaign signs. In every election, candidates vow to run clean campaigns and this time the candidates themselves seemed to be doing so, putting forward their own qualifications instead of making slurs against each other. And yet, now candidate campaign sings are being defaced.
If only one side of the issue has signs out there, voters would do well to ask themselves, "Why?" Surely both sides have raised money to campaign with signs. Whether for or against incorporation, one cannot help but ask: "Why would anyone have to wage a political campaign in such a way?" Let everyone speak their piece and have their ballots tell the tale.