Commissioners look to ban ‘lewd’ billboards in Mahoning County

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A local mom brought the issue before commissioners Thursday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohi (WKBN) – Mahoning County Commissioners say they will talk with the county prosecutor to see if certain outdoor advertising signs can be banned or at least regulated.

The billboard that is causing the controversy was set up along Route 224, near Bedell Rd. in Berlin Township. It advertised sex toys fashioned into a Ferris wheel.

The billboard has been changed, but that didn’t stop Ashley Davidson from taking her concerns to Mahoning County Commissioners Thursday.

“This is not OK in our community, and someone needs to stand up and say that,” Davidson said.

Davidson noticed the billboard as she was driving by with her 6-year-old son. He brought it to her attention when he asked about it.

Apparently, it’s not the only one. Another is set up on Route 224 in Deerfield, just west of the circle.

“It would be deemed R-rated content for a movie, yet it is on the side of the road,” Davidson said.

WKBN First News reached out to the billboard company and have not heard back from them but have been told others refuse to even accept ads like that. Commissioners say they would like to see the signs banned in the county.

“It is lewd. It’s obnoxious. It’s totally sexually explicit,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti. “We are going to reach out to the prosecutor and ask Paul Gains for legal guidance, what we can do further to make sure that these billboard companies are responsible.”

Davidson said she’s relieved to know her concerns aren’t being ignored.

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