By Sandy DeMent

The signs don't work


April 19, 2017

I write as a concerned property owner here in Klickitat County. I have three concerns with Sheriff Songer’s signs that are popping up around the county warning drug dealers not to linger in our communities. In order of importance:

• The real message the signs convey is: “This community has a drug problem. Don’t buy property here as land values may drop.” Is this true for each community where a sign goes up? Do we want to convey this image of our neighborhoods?

• The signs are campaign signs for the sheriff. While every citizen has a First Amendment right to put political messages on his or her property, these signs should not be paid for with public funds.

• The signs are silly. If it were really that easy to deter economic crime, I would encourage more signs against car theft, and burglary, and such.

Klickitat County seems to be struggling with itself. Mayors and towns are looking to build new industries, especially in tourism. Yet the county’s leadership seems unwelcoming, with a “go away and leave us alone” attitude. Am I wrong?

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