Saratoga Springs — City resident Bob Giordano remembers the smiles from people as they came by his home to see his creation: Four signs dedicated to the Belmont Stakes-winning horse Tiz the Law.
The signs were placed right below the stop signs at the intersection of Nelson and York — he says they gave residents a good laugh.
“In this low-energy period of lockdowns, masks, not socializing, people would come — one, two at a time if they were partners — and have their pictures taken in front of the signs,” Giordano said. “And you don’t know how great that made me feel. That’s the impact it has had. What will be the future impact? Well, I’m not sure.”
On Monday, when the 75-year-old racing lover woke at 4:30 a.m. to watch the horses as he usually does, he realized his signs were no longer there. After calling the police to report a theft in the neighborhood, he found out that the city took down the signs. This came as a surprise to Giordano, who said he mistook acknowledgement from the city’s Department of Public Works as approval from the city. He also figured, since he saw similar signs during Funny Cide’s hay day around 2003, and because he didn’t bolt his signs to the stop sign, he would be adhering to guidelines.
But Commissioner of Public Safety Robin Dalton has since told the Times Union that the placement of the signs at the intersection was illegal.
“It’s cute and of course we want to celebrate the local horse,” Dalton told the TU. “But you can’t affix anything to traffic signs or in the right of way. We cannot make exceptions.”
Giordano said that he and Dalton are now planning to discuss “compromise” and possible ways to keep his vision for the signs alive.
But his initial vision has since exploded in the community. Saratoga’s Broadway and Fastsigns of Saratoga Springs — where he initially created the four signs for $25 a piece — are now selling the signs with half of the proceeds going toward the Belmont Child Care Association.
In response to a Facebook user Tuesday, the store wrote that while “the town isn’t allowing them on the stop signs around town at the moment,” there’s another Tiz the Law sign option available for fans.
Now, Giordano plans to donate one of the original signs — along with its stake — to a later BCCA auction. For him, regardless of what happens with the signs, he’s making sure his community knows that “working together works.”