MADISON (WKOW) -- In response to political advocacy signs displayed in Madison public buildings, former city council member Dorothy Borchardt and others posted signs of their own at city hall, including one on Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's window praising Governor Walker.
Borchardt said signs have been posted for some time at city hall and Madison's municipal building in support of candidates, and labor union positions on Walker's attempt to largely eliminate public employee collective bargaining. Borchardt said such sign posting is prohibited by city-county building policies and operating rules.
But city attorney Michael May told WKOW 27 News signs with union affiliation have to be evaluated in light of free speech rights and court decisions, including one decision allowing pro-union signs to be displayed at Milwaukee city schools.
May said signs involving "electioneering" for particular candidates were prohibited. If those signs had been displayed, there were none visible Monday in any of the windows of the two public buildings.
Borchardt and others initially posted such signs in city hall's lobby, but removed them when informed they were within one hundred feet of a polling place.
Political signs were not limited to city hall and the municipal building. Blocks away on East Washington Avenue, a sign with often-repeated slogan, "Kill the bill," was plastered to a window on the Madison metro bus headquarters. Metro spokesperson Mick Rusch said the sign would be removed.
In an email to city officials, May said he was meeting with the police chief and the city's human resources director regarding non-campaign signs to develop a consistent policy.