City residents associated with the upcoming Nov. 6 elections are complaining about the widespread removal of campaign signs recently.
“They did a complete sweep,” said Charles Brown, the new chairman of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee. The unresolved question is who “they” are, he said.
At least 200 campaign signs for candidates and issues across the political spectrum were taken from locations near intersections and along roadways throughout the city.
Deputy Public Works Commissioner Tim Cogan said he’s not sure who removed the signs and deposited them at the city transfer station on Weibel Avenue where they were found Oct. 15.
“I have no idea where they came from,” Cogan said. He said DPW officials did not order the removal of the signs.
The city code dictates that such signs are not supposed to be placed in any city right-of-way, even though they have been placed in these areas in past election years.
Brown said he and his fellow campaign workers checked with the city before they placed their signs earlier this fall. They then placed the signs where signs have been placed in past years. He said if city officials have changed their rules regarding the signs, they should notify the candidates and their campaign workers.
Cogan said the campaign signs were taken from the city transfer station to the Department of Public Works garage on Division Street. He estimated about 100 signs were taken there.
Brown said it looked more like 200 signs at the DPW garage. Party representatives have been picking up their signs.
Pat Kane, co-founder of Saratoga Citizen, said 250 of the Saratoga Citizen signs advocating voter approval of a city charter change proposition on Nov. 6 were removed.
“It was everybody’s signs. Whoever picked them up, picked them all up,” Kane said about the nonpartisan removal sweep.
“All the candidates spend a great deal of money on these signs,” Kane said. He said where the Saratoga Citizen signs were placed, campaign signs have been placed for years.
Deputy Commissioner Cogan said technically campaign signs are not supposed to be posted on city property.
Brown said there were a couple of exceptions to the sign removal. He said campaign signs on Ballston Avenue and some signs on Route 9 south of the downtown were left standing for some reason.
Lt. John Catone, a spokesman for the city police department, said he has received no complaints on the missing signs. He said it was his observation that signs were missing mainly from areas near state and county right-of-ways.