Officials in a southwest Iowa city are asking residents to obey a local ordinance regarding signs in non-commercial areas. Councilman Craig Hill raised the issue during this week’s Clarinda City Council meeting, as a growing number of signs are popping up in residential areas, advertising job openings in Clarinda.

“I sympathize with the problem that they’re having, trying to find employees, but there are ordinances that people need to follow,” he said, “so I encourage the businesses or industries to come to City Hall, make sure that they know the rules, get a permit and then follow those before they just start putting things out.”

Clarinda Mayor Lisa Hull said residents must pay a fee and get a permit to place any sort of sign on a property zoned as residential.

“It looks kind of trashy if you have these signs all over everyone’s yard,” she said.

Hull, who runs a manufacturing business in Clarinda, has paid fees to the city to put a flag in her yard as a sign that she’s hiring. Hull said if a sign is in the city right-of-way along the street, the city is technically liable for the sign.

“We need to regulate, really, what those signs ’cause somebody could put a sign talking about their neighbor, you know, and say anything they want to say,” Hull said, “so that’s why when you put signs in your yard, especially if it’s residential, you need to get a permit so the city can regulate what those signs say.”

Officials in the city of Johnston have fielded complaints about a sign painted on a bar that, among other things, declares it the site of Trump 2024 National Headquarters and includes a slur against Vice President Harris. The Johnston City Council discussed the matter earlier this month and are considering their legal options, but say the sign is likely considered speech protected by the First Amendment.

(By Ryan Matheny, KMA, Shenandoah)