Friday, May 24th

Letter: Political Signs on Village Owned Property are an Eyesore

electionsignsThis letter to the editor was written by Lee Fischman: You may have noticed that Berg, Selvaggio and Cohen election signs are now seemingly ubiquitous across Village properties. In 2018, Berg sued the Village for the right to place signs in the Village right of way. The judge issued a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, stating,

"It is ORDERED that Defendants are enjoined from enforcing the provisions of Section 256-1... with respect to posting political lawn signs in the Village of Scarsdale right of way in front of private homes,"

Banning the Village from removing signs in front of private homes seemed reasonable, and the Village is not removing any signage until the suit is settled. But Berg, Selvaggio and Cohen are exploiting and exceeding the restraining order by placing vast numbers of signs not in front of supporters' homes, but on wholly owned Village property.

The taxpayer owns Village properties. That's us. Having political signage placed on Village properties' right of way is akin to appropriating our endorsement. I did not give Berg, Selvaggio and Cohen permission to advertise in front of taxpayer property and neither did the judge. In the midst of summer greenery they also are a public eyesore. In fact, the Supreme Court agreed with the right to prohibit signs regardless of purpose in Los Angeles v. Vincent: "The problem addressed by this ordinance -- the visual assault on the citizens of Los Angeles presented by an accumulation of signs posted on public property -- constitutes a significant substantive evil within the City's power to prohibit."

Berg, Selvaggio and Cohen's action, whether direct or by delegation, is a provocation, a gamble that there is no downside to exceeding the judge's injunction. If you too disapprove of this widespread appropriation of community property, and want to send a message that papering it with election signs should not be future practice, you can register your displeasure with your vote.

Lee Fischman

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