Elgin woman's 'Impeach President Trump Now' sign must come down, city says

  • Myra Becker, 94, put an "Impeach President Trump Now" sign in her yard in February. The city says it's larger than allowed by ordinance and asked Becker to remove it, but she plans to fight that.

      Myra Becker, 94, put an "Impeach President Trump Now" sign in her yard in February. The city says it's larger than allowed by ordinance and asked Becker to remove it, but she plans to fight that. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/5/2018 4:31 PM

A 94-year-old Elgin woman is planning to fight a request from the city to remove an oversize political sign in her yard.

Myra Becker said that at her age, she doesn't get many chances to leave her west side home, much less participate in political events. That's why in February she commissioned three signs, each measuring 3 feet by 3 feet, 8 inches, stating "Impeach President Trump Now!" she said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'm a 94-year-old woman with a strong feeling about the president," Becker said. "I can't march and I can't protest. I'm on a walker and there are all the things I can't do, but I can put a sign."

Becker had one of the signs installed in her yard, stored one in her garage, and gave another to neighbors down the street.

A code compliance officer paid a visit to Becker and her neighbors on Monday and asked them to remove the signs within 24 hours, saying that at more than 11 square feet the signs are larger than the 3 square feet allowed by city ordinance.

City spokeswoman Molly Center said the city's 311 call center was contacted by someone asking if the sign was allowed by code. The next step would be issuing Becker a written violation notice to comply within 24 hours, which would be followed by a $50 ticket, which can be contested by mail, Center said. Code compliance officers plan to check in again by the end of the week.

The issue is not the content, "it just has to be the right size," she said.

The neighbors removed their sign Monday. Becker said she's not planning to do that just yet and will look into appealing any notices she gets.

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"It's been out there for a long time. Nobody said anything, and I am surprised that they are now," she said, adding she didn't know about size limits when she commissioned the signs. "I don't plan on breaking the law either, so I have to find out what you do when you have this kind of conflict."

Neighbor Carl Flaks said he's not happy he and his wife were asked to remove their sign, "but if that's the code, I'll abide by the law."

"The possibility of a smaller sign is in the back of my mind, but I'm not sure I'm ready to pursue that. I'm interested in seeing what happens with Myra and the city."

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