Updated at 6:08 p.m.
Edinburg code enforcement employees removed three signs promoting a recall of city officials. Two signs were located at Canton Road and Closner Boulevard and another at McColl Road and Canton Road, according to the city.
Signatures have been sought since May for recalling each member of the city council after Edinburg resident Robert Solis submitted the initial petition affidavit calling for the ousting of Mayor Richard Molina, who along with his wife and 17 others are facing illegal voting charges tied to his 2017 election.
“Staff was provided with information these signs were along a public right of way and thus are prohibited,” Edinburg spokesperson Cary Zayas said in an email.
Zayas cited Sec. 12.380 of the city Unified Development Code, which prohibits “signs erected or placed within street, alley, roadway or thoroughfare public right-of-way.”
One of the signs, however, is believed to not have been in violation, at least according to Ruben Hinojosa, an organizer within the Edinburg recall movement.
Hinojosa said that after speaking to city employees Tuesday, they agreed that the sign on McColl Road and Canton Road shouldn’t have been picked up.
“I instructed them since they picked it up, they need to put it back,” he said. “The other two, we just need to find another location.”
But Zayas said the city will not place the sign in question back, saying it is up to the signs’ owners to position them wherever it does not violate the city’s code.
The group responsible for the signs were notified, according to Zayas, and told their property was at a city facility on Doolittle Road.
Hinojosa, however, said no one in the group was aware of a phone call. He said he spoke to code enforcement employees at city hall earlier Tuesday after seeing city workers loading the signs at Canton Road and Closner Boulevard, and later noticed the sign at McColl Road and Canton Road was missing as well.
After talking to the city, and consulting maps, he agreed with code enforcement that the two signs on Canton Road and Closner Boulevard were technically on an easement, thus subject to scrutiny.
But this is also a spot where the easement has not been enforced previously, he said.
“There has been tons and tons of political signs on that corner since forever,” Hinojosa said. “That has never been enforced until we put up a sign to recall our mayor.
“That’s the way I see it.”
As far as the recall petitions, Hinojosa said they should get enough signatures for Molina, and will focus their attention from the entire council to the mayor.
“That should have been the plan from day one,” Hinojosa said. “We should have just stuck with Molina because he’s the one that’s been indicted.”
Hinojosa wished people would “step up” and called for more volunteers to help garner additional signatures.
“Everyone seems so scared of this guy; I don’t understand it,” he said. “I come out everyday and I speak harshly of him and nothing has ever happened to me.
“It’s kind of depressing.”