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Woodbury apologizes for debacle over campaign signs, disallows any in future

By Genelle Pugmire - | Nov 1, 2021

Orem campaign signs of candidates who signed an agreement with Woodbury Corp at the southwest corner of 800 South and 800 East are pictured Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. Courtesy Linnea Pugmire

Woodbury Corp. will not permit political signage on its properties after this election cycle, the company announced in a video released Friday.

The move comes as candidates for Orem City Council have publicly split over a document they were asked to sign in order to place campaign signs on a prominent intersection near the company’s University Place development — and which one credited, in part, for her disqualification from the race.

Former Orem City Council candidate Nichelle Jensen, who was disqualified last week after failing to submit a campaign financial statement on time, said she missed the deadline because she was concentrating on formulating a statement explaining why she signed the campaign sign agreement with Woodbury Corp.

On Friday, Taylor Woodbury, chief operating officer of the Woodbury Corp., posted the video, which has been streamed on several platforms.

In it, Woodbury states that his family loves Orem and has been involved with several projects in the city since his grandfather, Wally Woodbury, started building in the 1960s — not just erecting shopping centers but also contributing to Utah Valley University, the new Orem Fitness Center, Alpine School District and more.

Woodbury said he feels bad about how things have turned out during this campaign season in Orem.

“Things seem to be more about campaign signs than the candidates or issues,” he said in the video. “During the primary, we allowed every candidate to put their signs on our private property.”

But, he added, “We felt taken advantage of as some of these candidates then went out and disparaged our family or our contributions to the community, and it didn’t feel fair.”

He also said that Woodbury Corp. never intended the campaign sign agreement to be a quid pro quo, meaning candidates get a sign location but then are beholden to promote future Woodbury Corp. projects at University Place or elsewhere.

He said Woodbury Corp. supports candidates that support what the company has done, particularly at University Place as part of a 12-year-old Community Development Agency.

“We are sorry this has become such a distraction in the current election,” Woodbury said.

Going forward, he added, Woodbury Corp. has decided that campaign signs will no long be allowed on their private properties anywhere in Utah.

“We wish all candidates well,” he concluded.

The decision to not allow any campaign signs on Woodbury Corp. property will make it so candidates will not be able to put signs on some of the busiest intersections in Orem, including the northeast corner of 800 North and State Street, the southwest corner of 800 East and 800 South and the northeast corner of the University Parkway and State Street — one of the busiest intersections in the state.

Orem city code does not allow campaign signs to be placed on city property.


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