Lake County tells land owner to dump ‘Toot for Trump' sign

'Violation has nothing to do with the content of the sign,' officials say

By Clay LePard - Reporter

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County couple is being told their homemade political sign on their own property has to go. 

The homemade sign that currently stands in Elaine Simmons' backyard reads "Toot For Trump" as well as "Proud to be an American" and "We Stand for the National Anthem." 

"It took three of us and a tractor," said Simmons, whose backyard faces North Hancock Road just outside Minneola, near the Florida Turnpike.

"We knew the road was coming through and we didn't like it," she explained. "When the road went through, we figured let's capitalize on it."

Now 337 days since the presidential election, and the honks at their sign keep on coming. 

"I felt like I owed it for everybody to support Trump and Pence," she added. "And since we have this road behind us, what better advertising could i ask for. It's on my property." 

Over the past year, the sign has changed slogans a couple of times, from "Make America Great Again" to "Deplorables for Trump." 

But now, the Simmons are told the sign must go, after the county received an anonymous complaint last month.

"I felt like lake county was singling me out," Elaine Simmons said. 

A Lake County representative told  News 6 that the sign is a code violation, because of how long it's been up, not because of what it says.

Read their full statement below:

Our code does not permit a temporary sign such as this to be in place for more than 90 days. We are aware that this sign has been up since at least November 2016.

Code received an anonymous complaint in September, and arrived on site to observe the temporary sign. A notice of violation was mailed to the property owner on Oct. 9.

Code is working with the owner to explain the code and our land development regulations. If the owner should wish to erect a permanent sign, they would need to go through the zoning process for approval.

The violation has nothing to do with the content of the sign.

The couple was told they have 14 days to comply with the ordinance or risk being fined. The Simmons' are still unsure what their next step will be.

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