Rotterdam seeks input on repealing political lawn sign law

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

Signs supporting graduating seniors are often seen this time of year in Rotterdam, what is not common now are political lawn signs. 

However, with a change in the state’s primary day to June 23 from Sept. 13, some political signs have popped up throughout town. 

But while the voting days have changed, the town of Rotterdam’s laws haven’t caught up yet. 

Under the town’s 1996 law, lawn signs cannot be placed before Sept. 1.

Town Board member Samantha Miller-Herrera addressed the issue during a board meeting on June 9, asking for a public hearing June 23 to hear residents’ feedback on whether the town should repeal the law. The hearing will be at 5:30 p.m.

“I brought it up because I felt it was important to address the issue while it is at the forefront of residents’ minds,” Miller-Herrera said in an email. “I wish we had addressed it earlier but COVID took over so many aspects of the work we do.”  

Memory Lane resident Marcy Deforge didn’t know about the town’s law but was baffled to hear people couldn’t post signs until September.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” she said, noting the primary date change.

She had a Keith Muse for Town Justice sign on her lawn and another was placed under the stop sign at the intersection. 

She said Town Board member Stephen Signore, who is seeking re-election, placed signs to support Keith Muse on her lawn. It is unclear whether Signore and Muse are campaigning together. Signore could not be reached for comment on the topic.

Town law states anyone violating the law could face a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 or imprisonment no longer than six months or both. That’s for the first offense, with fines increasing for subsequent offenses. 

Miller-Herrera said the public hearing is only to repeal the law and that the town has not scheduled a public hearing for a replacement provision.

“If there is a need to create a new law to address signs we can do so over time with input from residents,” she said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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