I don't think an ordinance would be too difficult to craft, although the
liability issue may rest at the state level.  It seems clear to me that a good
way to approach the issue is to hold the company advertising responsible.  If
they have a contract with the agency that posts the signs, then the contract
should contain a clause requiring that the signs be posted only where legal.  If
the agency doesn't know who their "jobbers" are, then they are liable, period.
The fine should be high enough that it offsets any revenue gained by the
infraction (sometimes it's cheaper in terms of fines for companys to break laws
and pay fines instead of going to the expense of compliance with the laws).

The other side of this equation is to create a space for flyers to be posted -
the kiosks in public spaces that one finds in some other cities and in Europe
are a great approach.  There are actually some kiosks in some metro shopping

Personally, I want to have a chance to see whatever may be advertised (bands,
clubs, etc - less interested in fad diets), but in an ordered manner that
doesn't pollute the aesthetics of our environment.

In the meantime, until the laws are changed or enforceable, we should all be
encouraged not only to remove these signs, but to follow up with a call to the
advertised number (if it isn't a 900 number) to tell them that we don't
appreciate their pollution and have removed the signs on behalf of the
understaffed (I assume it would take infinite staff to do this all over the
city) Regulatory Services Dept., and give them the number of Reg Services if
they have any questions about the laws they have broken.

David PIehl

"Young, Susan A" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> on 03/22/2001 12:07:40 PM

To:   Mpls list <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
cc:    (bcc: Dave G Piehl/USA/Pillsbury)
Subject:  RE: [Mpls] Snipe advertising

Snipe Advertising is illegal, period.  There are ordinances against Snipe
advertising in the City of Minneapolis.  Ordinance compliance is part of the
myriad of activities delegated to the Regulatory Services department in
Minneapolis (with parking enforcement, licensing of businesses,
establishments (restaurants and bars and entertainment) and taxicabs,
traffic control, housing and rental inspections, etc., etc.)

Yes, Solid Waste and Recycling has removed snipe advertising in the
past---it is sort of like stopping the ocean tides, but we have persevered.
As any other blight (litter, graffiti, dumped tires)the best defense is to
require the blight not to occur.  We, and Regulatory Services, have had
meetings with the folks whose names and phone numbers are prominently
displayed on the signs.  They contend that they contract with "companies" to
place the fliers, that they specify that the fliers can only be placed in
"appropriate" places (for instance display windows of willing retailers),
and that they have no control over the actual placement---we'd need to go
after the "distribution" companies.  When we trace those folks, THEY contend
that they "hire" individuals to make the placement, and that they specify
that the fliers can only be placed in "appropriate" places (sound familiar?)
and that they have no control over the actual placement, we would need to go
after THOSE individuals.  When we ask for names and addresses---well, they
were "jobbers," paid in cash, nobody knows who, where, etc.

Snipe advertising is a challenge, because of the First Amendment rights
involved in removal and prosecution.  Yes, a tighter Ordinance, placing
responsibility on the bar, Weight Loss company, Work From Home company, etc.
would be a GREAT tool for us.  However, after more than a year of effort, we
still do not have the ordinance change that would allow us to go onto
private property to remove graffiti in the case of an owner that won't give
us permission.   I would not be optimistic about passage of an enhanced
anti-Snipe ordinance, and even if it were passed, I'm not sure that
Regulatory Services has the resources to enforce a beefed up ordinance.

Right now, our best bets are to remove it ourselves (and by ourselves I
refer to residents AND SW & R folks), to CALL the places that are
responsible for putting it up and telling them that BECAUSE their
advertising is illegally placed and is a blight on our neighborhoods, we are
NOT buying their products.  I realize that snipe advertising, like graffiti,
has beauty in the eyes of certain beholders.  HOWEVER, it is all
inappropriate, damages telephone poles, light standards and trees that it is
attached to, becomes a public maintenance cost when not removed after the
"event," and is a visual distraction and blight.  Let me know when the
removal parties are, and Wendy and I will join in!  (We'll also bring our
Graffiti removal SWIPES!)

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