A Salmon Arm candidate election sign lay crumpled at the intersection of 20th Street SE and Auto Road SE on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

A Salmon Arm candidate election sign lay crumpled at the intersection of 20th Street SE and Auto Road SE on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm resident startles election sign thieves, winds up with collection of candidates

Candidates frustrated by thefts and related costs

  • Sep. 28, 2022 3:30 p.m.

Kim Mostrovich can get to know her City of Salmon Arm council candidates as they stop by her home to reclaim their missing election signs.

The signs recently wound up at Mostrovich’s 22nd Avenue NE address after she startled a group of individuals who she said appeared to be dumping them nearby.

“I startled some young men the other night… There’s some trees on the edge of our property, there was a ruckus and I looked outside and shouted out to them and startled them, and the signs all went flying from their hands and ended up on the corner of my lawn and down an embankment,” said Mostrovich.

It was around 10:30 p.m. when the individuals drove off. Mostrovich reported the incident to the RCMP and later the city.

“I have not been running around collecting signs. They ended up strewn on my lawn,” laughed Mostrovich.

“I had a rather large one for Nancy Cooper on a wooden board (left here), and I had one of the large ones for Kristine Wickner. It was 12 signs, all different candidates, so it was not like they were picking on anybody – it was a mix of councillors new and old that ended up in my carport.”

Mostrovich contacted candidate Kevin Flynn, who passed the word on to fellow candidates about the signs at Mostrovich’s.

“I went to the garage at the Mostrovich’s home and there are signs for almost every candidate there for pickup,” said Flynn. “It was widespread damage with no specific targets.”

Read more: Sign thefts, typo, vandalism all part of North Okanagan-Shuswap election campaign

Read more: Update: Shuswap candidate seeking those responsible for stolen, damaged signs

Stealing election signs is considered theft and damaging a sign is criminal mischief.

Salmon Arm candidates are experiencing the former.

“My signs have repeatedly been removed and I have probably lost 50 per cent since the start of the campaign,” said council candidate David Gonella. “Just last night, at 8:30 p.m. as an example, I placed signs on Five Corners, 20th Street and Auto and a few others that were gone at 7 a.m. this morning. I am not taking contributions so the sign replacements are coming out of pocket. Hard to do on a tight family budget.”

Fellow council candidate Kristine Wickner shares that frustration.

“I was feeling quite targeted because mine was missing from Auto and 20th but no one else’s was…,” said Wickner, noting the signs are a costly part of campaigning.

“I’m frustrated with the signs in general because we got very clear instructions from Elections BC to have our phone numbers on it for a couple of reasons – to legitimize it is sponsored and paid for and so people can contact you if it is obstructing something…

“Even if there’s some sort of issue with it, somebody should be calling me or at least give me the opportunity to have it back.”

Mostrovich is happy to have candidates stop by and pick up their signs.

“They’ve just been in my carport and people have been collecting their signs,” she said.

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