Sign crackdown leaves Little League in a panic

A crackdown on improper roadside signs by the city has officials with the Bainbridge Island Little League worried that their upcoming season will be soured by a lack of publicity.

The Little League has long used roadside signs as a reminder to parents to sign up their kids for the coming season.

Since the city of Bainbridge Island ramped up enforcement efforts in December — and many of the Little League’s signs have been removed from island rights-of-way — player and volunteer sign-ups have fallen off dramatically.

“We’re in a world of concern here,” said Marc Strachan of the Little League.

The organization typically puts out 60 to 75 signs, but the number has been greatly reduced because the city has reminded the league that the signs must be placed on private property.

The restrictions do not apply to political signs.

“We didn’t have that many up yet, we were just in the process of putting the signs up when we received the call,” Strachan said.

The city also contacted the Trillium School, Bainbridge Island Lacrosse and others about their roadside signs.

The sign smackdown began after a resident complained about illegal signs littering the landscape in late December.

Strachan said he understands the visual impact of their small yellow signs, but said they’ve proven to be the best way over the years for the league to get the word out about registration. And the signs do not stay up for long, he said.

Registration for Little League ends Feb. 1.

“This is our crunch time,” he said. “This is the time we’re able to get a majority of our teams formed up, our coaches selected, and line up all the tryouts.”

“We do want to respect that we live in a beautiful place and not try to cause issues with the signage, but it really truly has been the most effective advertising we can do, given our non-existent advertising budget,” Strachan said.

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