City of Bradenton failing to enforce sign code, allowing blight

January 25, 2014 

For several months I have communicated with Mr. Voelker Reiss, department head of the City of Bradenton code enforcement, regarding the out-of-control private and commercial signage appearing not only in the city but all over the county. The Bradenton Herald has published articles regarding the unkempt appearance of our main thoroughfares with all of the signs posted on the city and county right of ways.

I even offered Mr. Reiss a free part-time employee (myself) to remove illegally posted signs in the City of Bradenton. My time, my dime, in order to improve the appearance of our city.

Mr. Reiss said that was an interesting idea and he would discuss it with others. Of course, I've heard nothing about the offer.

All of the "homes for sale" signs, "urgent, must sell" signs handwritten in black marker are from commercial real estate businesses trying to sell foreclosed homes for banks. These are not distressed homeowners putting up the signs. Some of the signs are from out-of-county brokers judging from the telephone numbers posted.

I don't believe the code enforcement department is doing its job. I have offered to help for free as a public service. Seems to me that the code enforcement department is not enforcing the signage laws in the City of Bradenton at all.

Just drive down 14th Street West from Manatee Avenue to Cortez Road and you will see almost 100 illegal signs waving in the breeze. The laws were put in place for a reason. Enforce them, please.

Michael Harris, JD

Bradenton

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