By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
There is no doubt that the professionally lettered sign in Tucumcari labeling a sheet-metal structure the size of an outhouse as “Obama’s Presidential Library” expresses an opinion.
There is some doubt, however, whether the sign, located at 623 S. Lake St., meets city codes.
Doug Powers, Tucumcari’s city manager, said he referred the matter to city code enforcers. They referred the matter to Randy Knudson, the city’s attorney, Kayleen Evans, a city project administrator, said.
Knudson said he is reviewing pictures of the sign and the city’s sign ordinance to develop an opinion on whether the sign requires a permit.
The sign is attached to a 20-foot-tall sign that designates the building as a Massey Ferguson outlet, but that business moved out years ago and now, according to Mark Whittington, who owns the property, the building and fenced lot behind it are on a lease-purchase to Dusty Kovald. Whittington said, Kovald put up the sign.
Kovald could not be located for comment.
The anti-Obama sign has been up for several weeks, and it did not get a lot of attention until an Albuquerque television station featured it in a news story. Now, Whittington said, many visitors have stopped by the sign. Some have paused to be photographed next to it.
The structure below the sign, Whittington said, “is a tool shed, not an outhouse.”
The city’s sign ordinance says, “all new signs, including temporary signs, shall include easily identifiable information that indicates the owner of the sign, address of the sign owner and current telephone number of the sign owner.” The anti-Obama sign, as posted, does not visibly show the sign’s owner, his or her address or phone number.
The city code does allow temporary signs to remain erected for 75 days, but only with a permit.