By KELLY GOOCH
Sen. Kevin Eltife doesn’t plan to take down the political sign in his yard during the upcoming Azalea and Spring Flower Trail, but is fine with those who do.
Eltife, who lives on Chilton Avenue off Old Jacksonville Highway, said he enjoys seeing people involved in the political process, and doesn’t see a problem with people having political signs up during the trail.
“I don’t see any harm in someone having a political sign,” Eltife said. “I think it’s great they’re willing to promote their candidate.
“If people want to take them down, that’s great,” Eltife said.
Additionally, Eltife said he appreciates the trail and its organizers.
Holli Conley, marketing and communication manager with the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau, said businesses and homeowners in historic districts are asked to take down any signs, political or otherwise, that clutter the scenery, during the trail, which runs from Friday through April 6.
She said taking down signs is not a requirement, but a request. Ms. Conley added that the request is unrelated to trail event signs.
“In Tyler … we’re known for our natural beauty,” Ms. Conley said. “We get a high volume of visitors who come to see that beauty and take pictures. We encourage (businesses and homeowners) to make the area as beautiful as it can be.”
That area, Ms. Conley said, includes the Historic Brick Streets District, the Azalea District and the Charnwood Residential Historic District. Lindsey Lane and Dobbs Street are particularly popular places for visitors, she said.
According to a news release, more than 100,000 visitors came to Tyler last year for the trail, and more are expected this year.
Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer Henry Bell said the request to remove signs on the trail is nothing new, and has been done in previous years.
“Most people do it, but they don’t have to,” he said.
This year, Joel Rando and Martin Heines are running for mayor, while Eleno Licea and Don Warren are vying for the District 4 city council position. District 2 Councilman Darryl Bowdre and District 6 Councilman John Nix are unopposed.
In Tyler ISD, Barbara A. Smith and Ross Strader are running for District 5 trustee, while the Rev. Orenthia D. Mason and Cedrick L. Granberry Sr. are running for District 2 trustee.
Dr. Patricia A. Nation is the only person who filed to run for District 4 trustee. Election Day is May 10 for the city and school district.
Additionally, Jason Ellis and Mike Patterson will face each other in a May 27 run-off election for Smith County Court at Law judge.
Senior Public Relations Specialist Serena Butcher said via email there previously was a city ordinance about when political signs could be put up before an election or taken down after an election.
However, the ordinance was repealed, and there is now no prohibition for putting up political signs at a certain time, she said.
Still, Ms. Butcher wrote, the city has regulations covering political signs, “including right-of-way prohibitions, requires permission of the landowner, etc.”
For more information about the Azalea and Spring Flower Trail, go to www.Visit Tyler.com or call 903-592-1661.
Staff Writer Emily Guevara contributed to this report.