“It’s not right”: Pekin neighbor says city code ordinance allows derogatory yard sign

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PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Pekin community members are raising questions about Pekin’s code ordinance after seeing political yard signs with foul language.

Tati Wynd said last month, the city asked her to remove one of her yard signs because it had a vulgar word.

“One day we get this really hard knock on our door and my husband answers it and it’s the city ordinance officer and he tells us that we have to take it down,” said Wynd.

Wynd’s sign read, “Expletive Trump 2020,” and she’s since removed it. She said other signs in the area are just as inappropriate.

“We want to put it back up because we’re trying to prove a point that you can’t pick one or the other. It’s not right,” said Wynd.

A political sign down the road refers to Joe Biden and uses a derogatory term towards women to refer to Kamala Harris.

While it’s not a word that’s fineable by the FCC, WMBD chose not to say or show it in this story.

“I’m frustrated because at what point do you get to decide what is vulgarity and what’s not, especially when it comes to saying derogatory terms against women because that’s borderline sexism at that point,” said Wynd.

Wynd took to the social media app Tik Tok documenting her experience and received support for new signs she put in her yard.

A new sign in her yard uses the same derogatory word as the sign down the road to refer to President Trump.

“I can’t have that sign, and he refuses to put the other one down because it’s not vulgarity, so I’ll make my own that says the same thing, and then what are you going to say,” said Wynd.

Pekin city manager Mark Rothert said the city uses discretion for what is considered obscene.

“If the word is going to be bleeped out on TV, we would say don’t put that word on a sign. It’s the easiest way to kind of do a test for yourself,” said Rothert.

Rothert said Wynd’s original Trump sign was in violation of the code.

“There is a balance we have to strike here with first amendment rights and the ability of people to be able to provide their support or opposition to a candidate,” said Rothert.

According to the city, her new signs are not obscene. When asked if the signs would stay up, Rothert responded, “At this point, yes.”

Rother said code enforcement is being done on a complaint basis. He said it’s a politically tense time, and the city isn’t seeking out inappropriate signs.

When a complaint is received, it’s common for Pekin Police Chief John Dossey to handle it.

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