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Vandals target fire district levy signs

Half-a-dozen volunteers spent several hours last Wednesday morning scrubbing spray paint off more than 50 Fire District 7 election signs after vandals defaced the signs, apparently the previous night.

The timing of the crime was not appreciated.

“We found out about it in the middle of our (Sept. 11) remembrance ceremony,” said Fire Chief Mike Brown.

The vandalized signs, which were paid for entirely by private donations, encouraged voters to approved the requested fire district “lid lift.” Most district officials were baffled as to who might oppose the levy vehemently enough to drive around spray-painting signs. Signs all over South Kitsap had a large “no” or crossed-out circle painted on them.

“They targeted us,” said Firefighter Cody Goodwin, who spent part of his day off cleaning signs. “They didn’t get any of these other ones at all.”

To illustrate his point, Goodwin pointed to a virtual forest of signs promoting election candidates — all untouched. Fire district spokeswoman Lisa Kirkemo said the vandals managed to tag between a quarter and a third of the district’s 150 to 200 posted signs. She also said nearly all the large board-style signs were hit.

Brown said the signs were easy enough to clean — the district recently started using a soy-based secret-formula cleaner it was given by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Because no permanent damage was done and the crime happened overnight, no police report was filed. Brown said he didn’t believe there was much chance of catching the vandals anyway.

“We would just request that if anyone has a question (about the lid lift), they would ask us instead of defacing these signs,” he said. “They’re costly.”

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