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Signing off ... hopefully

November 9, 2012
Lake Placid News

Election time is over and congratulations to all the victorious candidates - and a salute to those who did not win. But what about all those - eyesores, otherwise known as political signs, that dot the landscape?

Yes, the signs will be taken down by political volunteers in the near future. And the signs will reappear next Election Day. They always come back. But something should be done to prevent these signs from the overkill that appears in some areas - such as the North Elba Showgrounds as seen in the photo below.

Yes, it is understood placing these signs on public land is a part of Free Speech guaranteed in the First Amendment. But when is enough enough?

Article Photos

Photo/Rolf Schulte
Thise conglomeration of political signs were photographed on Tuesday, Election Day, at the North Elba Showgrounds. This is a clear example of sign overkill. Which candidate has the most signs at this location? Count’em.

It's fine when a citizen endorses a particular candidate or party and decides to litter his or her own lawn with a conglomeration of signs. But when it's done on public land, there must be perimeters. One option would be to have candidates acquire a permit to place signs, but that would be a slippery slope.

The state's Department of State, Division of Local Government does have a document titled "Municipal Control of Signs." (To review a copy, go to The document outlines the state's view on signs.

Political signs are something that probably annoys lots of residents, but is something they deal with because it's only temporary. That's understandable. But when signage goes beyond one or two signs, a fine should be levied against that candidate.

The "Municipal Control of Signs" says sign are allowed and prejudice cannot be shown toward one category of signage (i.e. political signs). But when signs go overboard and create an eye sore such as the one at the Showgrounds, then action must be taken by a municipality.

In the future, perhaps a action will be taken to take the signs down if it is deemed to be overkill. That action would certainly get the vote of this newspaper.

Now take the signs down.



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