Seems that just before every election, political signs get defaced, removed or destroyed – and that’s just what happened overnight Tuesday (Jan. 27), as numerous anti-school bond signs were tampered with, mostly in an area between Des Moines and Normandy Park.

One sign was defaced with hand-written expletives apparently aimed at Sensible Spending on Schools (SSOS), the organization that opposes the bond: Kathleen Waters says that a total of 11 signs were tampered with, four stolen, two defaced, and five obscured with other signs including this copycat.

“I can’t say how disappointed I am to see any voter abuse the system that we should cherish every day of our lives – a democracy – with freedom and liberty for each of us AND our children,” Waters said. “What kind of message is sent to the kids we ALL care about with this kind of abuse of the voting privilege we all share?”

Obviously, this kind of activity is illegal. According to Sgt. Bryan Howard of the Burien Police Department, this kind of tampering is considered a misdemeanor, and violates city law 29A.84.040, which states:

“Political advertising, removing or defacing. A person who removes or defaces lawfully placed political advertising including yard signs or billboards without authorization is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable to the same extent as a misdemeanor that is punishable under RCW 9A.20.021. The defacement or removal of each item constitutes a separate violation.”

Des Moines Police would also enforce the same state law (RCW) that Burien does, Sgt. Doug Jenkins of DMPD told us:

“Anytime there is a political issue or candidate that generates significant interest one way or another we frequently hear reports about political signs that have been damaged or removed,” Jenkins told The B-Town Blog.

“Actually being able to arrest someone for damaging or removing a political sign is extremely difficult. Rarely is there a witness to the crime.

“We would encourage anyone that sees anyone tampering with or damaging a political sign to get a good description of the suspect, the exact location where it is occurring and call 911 or the non-emergency line for your local police department. “

We contacted Catherine Carbone-Rogers, Communications Director for Highline Public Schools, who said:

“Highline Public Schools absolutely does not condone removing or defacing political signs under any circumstances. We call on all citizens to participate in the political process respectfully and lawfully.”

We also received this statement from Lois Schipper, Chair of Highline Citizens for Schools:

“It has come to our attention that political signs for the opposition have been damaged or stolen. We want to be very clear: Highline Citizens for Schools does not, under any circumstances, condone or encourage this behavior. It is against the law and detracts from our primarily focus, which is to run an honest and ethical campaign that supports all of our students. We also want to be clear that we do not know the individual or individuals that have damaged or stolen the signs. While we recognize many of our own signs have been removed, it’s important our supporters don’t damage or remove our opposition’s signs. We value the political process and want to ensure its integrity.”

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

25 replies on “Numerous anti-school bond signs defaced, tampered with overnight”

  1. In response to Scott’s excellent article, and the denial by Catherine Carbone-Rogers, the 10 copy cat signs were bought by Kenneth Rogers, husband to Catherine Carbone-Rogers. Kenneth was seen by witnesss in a [DETAILS REMOVED BY EDITOR].
    The placement of the copycat signs was also where “NO” campaign signs were purposefully obscured, or NO signs went missing or were defaced.
    The placement of the copy cat signs is illegal do to their spacing in regards to the NO signs and the fact that they were purposefully placed there to obscure the NO signs.
    This is a very disappointing development for someone so closely affiliated with the Chief Communications Officer at Highline Public Schools – Catherine Carbone-Rogers.
    I would like to see the copy cat signs taken down, and a clean, ethical, moral campaign run,

    1. The very same Ken Rogers who wrote a false and scathing report about Highine signs being stolen and accusing SSOS, Sensible Spending on Our Schools, of being the culprits. All Lies. And now he has the audacity to go out and tamper with and block signs because he feels he is in the right. His wife is Catherine Carbonne Rogers, Chief of Communications at Highline Public Schools. How could she not know about this when he is out in the middle of the night doing damage to the opposing campaign? Perhaps they feel they have a separate set of rules that pertain only to them. There are laws that address this violation and they will be held accountable.

      1. Who paid for these new yard signs? Were they reported as a donation to the PAC or was the money provided by the Highline School District since it came from Ken Rogers/ Catherine Carbone Rogers/? Someone has some ‘splainin’ to do.

    2. Ha ha that is brilliant! Thank you Thomas! While she says ” Highline Public Schools absolutely does not condone removing or defacing political signs under any circumstances. We call on all citizens to participate in the political process respectfully and lawfully” her husband is out defacing the signs!
      The town hall meetings are staged and full of administrators, the Highline Citizens for Schools campaign is funded by administrators and construction companies, and now the family members are out defacing the opposition signs? Which part of this school district’s campaign CAN we trust?

    3. do you have picture’s or actual proof that it who you say it is and not just hey I know this guy plat # /what type vehicle he drives and he on the other side of something that’s up to vote and we don’t agree on it
      It really seems like if this is true you would go to the police, the pdc and not to posting on a blog where your side has aggressively voted down any or most comments that have anything bad to say about your side or that will tell the truth about your side and the people connected to ssos
      But then again you will just vote down this comment to

  2. Does it surprise anyone that the same people who rob your wallets for their own inflated salaries would stoop to this level? Vote NO and send a message that they can’t just take our money without a DETAILED plan and a better option than what they have now.
    It is YOUR money and they are asking for it….shouldn’t we at least know EXACTLY what they want to do with it???

  3. So Kenneth Rogers is a member of Highline Citizens for Schools by what I am interpreting from Lois’s statement?
    And is married to the Chief communications officer for Highline Public Schools.
    Anybody else seeing a “Honey Do” chore here?

    1. Oh and this is the SAME Highline citizens for Schools that has just this week taken to flooding and posting their signs every 75ft or so down 1st ave S At least it’s not every 20ft like November.
      Funny how the first time opposing signs go up over the weekend they get blatantly trashed.

  4. It’s a good thing most reasonably prudent folks don’t rely on who has what sign to make an informed choice. I really don’t see what purpose they serve other than to satisfy some mental issue with the sign owner.
    3 NO votes in the drop box from my camp.

  5. Where can I read more about these measures? There’s not really enough information on the ballot to tell me much. I would like to see some arguments for and against both measures.
    I don’t have kids so I don’t have a vested interest in this. I would like to live in a town where the schools are rated higher than 3 out of 10 though. That’s just pathetic.

    1. I agree with you. And I think you definitely have a vested interest: as go the schools, so go so many other critical community things…attractiveness to families and solid businesses that want to locate somewhere, property values, overall perceived community quality…stuff that fosters a robust economy and stable neighborhoods and a well equipped future workforce… i am also grinding through the mountains of information and rhetoric…it’s not easy.

  6. Let’s not lose track of the main issue — our schools are overcrowded and something needs to be done now. There have been several stories in the news about other districts dealing with serious overcrowding issues. Let’s learn from their mistakes. These problems will not go away and will only get worse and more expensive if they are not addressed. The Highline School District has an impeccable record with past bonds – all coming in under budget and on time. Be informed –

    1. Schools are overcrowded but this bond measure is too ambitious. $189 million to build Highline High School when Mount Rainier rebuild only cost $68.5 million? No. We are overcrowded but we aren’t stupid. Bring me a reasonable bond and I’ll vote yes. This isn’t the one for us.

      1. Because they want to build a “state of the art” high school, that is why the price tag is so high.

    2. Overcrowded??? I graduated with classrooms that were never below 28 students. I would put our test scores vs those of today’s students any day. Let’s call a spade a spade…No Child Left Behind is the problem. Thanks Bush. We have gone from a society where it was acceptable to repeat a grade to ensure that a child “LEARNS” the curriculum to one that is worried about a stigma attached with a heavy cost to tax payers and the poor kid who isn’t ready for the next level of education.
      Overcrowding nor the age of the buildings have nothing to with children who are passed on through the system because of age rather than ability are the issues. I don’t care how many teachers you hire or the palaces you put them in. If you have a student who doesn’t understand the lesson the surroundings aren’t going to change that.
      You can’t just take my money without a better plan.
      Vote NO

  7. THIS: “We call on all citizens to participate in the political process respectfully and lawfully.” – Catherine Carbone-Rogers
    Then to have your husband out making up signs and tampering with opposition campaign signs – and get CAUGHT doing it… Classic!!!
    And Yes, It does appear to be Ken Rogers who wrote a long letter targeting the opposition for stealing his signs back in Nov. Guess we know where he got the ideas for Tues nights posting of his signs. Guess fair play isn’t a concept of the Rogers household, just winning.

  8. Superintendent Enfied has Hundred of Thousands of Dollars at her disposal for the passage of this Bond, our opposition to this Bond has always been that it is just to exspensive for our community, over a Half a Billion Dollars for this Bond and Levy Package in the form of higher taxes.
    We are a small number of concerned citizens who pulled our dollars together and bought a small number of signs that we put in our community in opposition to the Bond.
    Superintendent Enfield, please ask your vandals to please leave our signs alone, just like this bond we have no more money to give to replace our missing and defaced signs.

  9. I did not and would not touch, tamper, deface, damage or otherwise disturb any other campaign signs. I don’t know who did. I do not support anyone or any activity that intentionally ignores the rules around election campaigning – including signage.
    I willingly put out the Vote Approve signs Tuesday–in broad daylight and without any intent to disturb or obstruct any other campaign sign. This was my idea alone and my in-kind contribution to the bond campaign. When it was brought to my attention the next day by a Highline Citizens for Schools volunteer that two of the signs were too close to the Vote No signs, I immediately repositioned my signs so as not to block the view of the other signs. Again, it was not my intention to obscure other signs, and I would apologize to whoever purchased and put them up but there is no “Paid For By” message on them.
    It was my intention to place my signs near the others to express my opinion that it is far more responsible and responsive to get this bond passed now and not later.
    As we know from looking at the results of any election, it is impossible to write a measure that everyone agrees on. But in this case, one has to only walk through the older schools to see the need to replace them. Ask the students. Ask the teachers. With student enrollment projected to increase substantially, building new schools now makes all the sense in the world. It will only be more expensive for taxpayers the longer we wait.
    Previously constructed schools in this district have been built on time and on budget. That is what we all expect of the school board and district staff. We would be foolish to knowingly delay this bond and the construction of these schools when the circumstances argue so strongly to get it done now. Having serviceable schools that can adequately accommodate our kids is a goal that benefits everyone in the community.
    Differing views are healthy when they lead to constructive solutions. The unusually harsh and undeserved vitriol from some posters to this blog contributes nothing to resolving important issues that impact us all. Let’s put the negativity away and come together to support our children and our community.

    1. This isn’t the right bond. Responsible community members will question why Mount Rainier was built for $68.5 million and now the district is asking for $189 million for Highline. It is unconscionable and I won’t support placing that burden on my community.

      1. Didn’t realize the distance and proximity of the sign placement?
        With depth perception like that, it’s not safe to be driving a car.

    2. Is there proof he vandalized or stole any signs? I highly doubt it. Who cares if he bought signs and people saw him putting them up. There’s nothing wrong with it. Get over it. If there is no proof he broke any laws I hope he goes after the people that are slandering him with their usual lies here.

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