Cities take down Paige Johnson fliers from utility poles

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

DAYTON, KY (FOX19) - She has been missing for more than a month now and her family is not giving up hope.

Paige Johnson, 17, of Florence, was last seen Sept. 23 in Covington.

On Oct. 15, police arrested Jacob Bumpass on a probation violation. Police said he was the last person to see the 17 year old alive and that his cell phone "pinged" a cell tower near East Fork Lake State Park in Clermont County the day she disappeared.

So, on Oct. 21-22, teams searched the park and found nothing leading to Paige Johnson.

Which brings us up to this past weekend, when Dayton police stopped friends and family members of Paige Johnson from posting fliers about her disappearance on utility poles.

They deny they're being insensitive, rather just upholding a long-standing law.

"We are so sorry that we've been chastised by some people here because of the utility poles," said Dayton City Administrator Dennis Redmond.

Administrators from both the City of Dayton and Bellevue say you can't tell one person it's okay to hang signs on utility poles, no matter how dire the circumstances, and deny everybody else who thinks their cause is just as important.

Redmond said they have a long history of stopping people from hanging signs on telephone poles.

"But since March the 6th of 1979," Redmond said. "We've had a standing ordinance that we follow and enforce to the letter."

They're not insensitive to Paige's plight.

"That does not mean that a human life is compared to a lost dog," he said.

Whether its yard sales or political signs, nothing is allowed on utility poles.

"If you let one do it, then they all do it," Redmond said.

The Police Department called City Hall.

"And just notified us that there was some people putting up things on the telephone poles," he said.

And in most cases, those people would have been subjected to a $50 fine.

"Nobody's getting fined for it," Redmond said.

Their police department has already put resources toward finding the missing teen.

"We are very sensitive to it," he said. "In fact, our police department is actually working on the case."

"And whatever we could possibly do," he said. "We would try to do."

There is a stack of fliers inside Dayton City Hall.

"We've put the signs up on all of our bulletin boards," he said. "Public works garage, city hall, the police station."

"It's been modified so many times," said Bellevue City Administrator Keith Spoelker. "This is our original zoning ordinance."

It is the foundation of their zoning laws next door in Bellevue, as Spoelker explained pointing to the ordinance on the books.

The safety factor for utility workers is tantamount, where poles are already riddled with nails, spikes and tacks. Plus, there is the danger of not being able to see around the poles. if they were cluttered with signs.

"The ordinance pretty much spells out nothing shall be posted whether it's something of grave importance such as this, or a yard sale next week, it's just not allowed," Spoelker said.

And it's not limited to utility poles, curbs, lamp posts, and bridges are included. There is a long list.

Both men said searchers could make a bigger impact, putting signs in high-traffic spots, like a grocery store or the post office.

"Just to tell the family," Redmond said. "If there's anything we could possibly do, any resource we could possibly give you, we'll try to do so."

Redmond said aside from the fliers inside city hall, they'd be happy to put a posting on the city's website or run a spot on their cable TV channel. Still he said, they're going to reach more people faster and that's right here on Broadcast TV, on FOX19.

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