It's that time of year where the City of Bismarck threatens it's residents with penalties and imprisonment, for advertising their own yard sales on their own boulevards.  So that means it also time for my annual rant about municipal over-reach. Let me just give it to you straight from the city...

Bismarck ordinance prohibits placing any advertising upon any public building, bridge, fence, railing, sidewalk, or any other public property. The posting of any sign, handbill, poster, or placard upon public boulevards is expressly prohibited. This means if you are having a rummage sale you can put the sign on your own yard, but no signs on the boulevard, boulevard trees, stop signs, light poles, fire hydrants, traffic signals, or any other public property. 

No doubt, I should have better things to rant about...but they started it!  Getting all bossy with my boulevard!  Actually at my place, it's just sidewalk and curb, but I speak for those with boulevards that feel that they have no voice!  In the 1970's, my father not only spoke for the boulevard people, he raised his voice for them.

Let's say it was the summer of 1974, we'd cleaned up and rebuilt after the 1969 flood destroyed the whole damn valley in Minot.  It was a rare occurrence, but the McGowan's were having a rummage sale!  My dad was a guy that like making signs, and he made a doozy!  He put it out in the front boulevard to entice the bargain hunters, but instead it attracted the boys in blue.  The police politely explained to my dad that the boulevard was actually city property and he couldn't have his sign on city property.

My dad was never an angry guy, but he got steamed that day,  WHO MOWS IT!  WHO WEEDS IT!  WHO TRIMS THE TREES!  All to no avail.

So, if you'd like to take the torch and FIGHT THE POWER!  Go ahead and line your boulevard with rummage sale, house for sale, or my kid's a graduate signs!

Whatcha gonna do about that Bismarck?

Bismarck ordinance also prohibits placing any handbill in or upon any vehicle. This law prohibits one from putting flyers under the windshield wiper of parked cars for example, promoting an event. Violation of either of these ordinances is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.

Oh well...Take 'em down. I least I got my rant in again.

See ya same time next year!