Print Gov. signs bill for sign walkers
Written by Staff Reporter   
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 13:00

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano signed a bill into law that requires municipalities to allow sign walkers.

House Bill 2066 sponsored by Arizona Rep. Bob Robson [R-Chandler], bars municipal bans on sign walkers.

The city of Cottonwood considered revising the municipal sign code to prohibit the use of mascots and/or street corner sign-walkers.

However, at a Feb. 12 work session, the council decided to at least allow mascots temporarily and impose less stringent regulations on sign walkers.
“If I wanted to live with a lot of rules and regulations, I’d live in Scottsdale,” Vice Mayor Karen Pfeifer said.

Scottsdale has a ban on street corner sign-walkers.

The new law, which takes effect Thursday, Jan. 1, declares that “all municipalities shall allow the posting, display and use of sign walkers. Municipalities may adopt reasonable time, place and manner regulations relating to sign walkers.”

The bill defines a sign walker as one who wears, holds or balances a sign.
Cottonwood Community Development Director George Gehlert said the bill looks different than legislation the governor vetoed last year.

“We’ll, no doubt, take this up as part of the ongoing sign code review,” Gehlert said.

“There was initially an effort to prohibit local governments from regulating sign walkers at all. This version appears to allow for regulation of time, place and manner subject to public safety issues.

“I’m guessing the mascots will fall into the sign walker category as well.”
The city asked local businesses such as Acme Pizzaria and Jump Start to stop using mascots to advertise their business until it determined if they would be allowed under the city sign code.

At the work session, City Manager Doug Bartosh allowed the use of mascots until the city decides whether to regulate them or not.

“It appears we have until the end of this year to propose any local standards for sign walkers,” Gehlert said.

Robson said the new law is a major victory for the First Amendment.