Bring on the billboard brawls

They're out on the roadways, crowded into intersections, most of them red, white and blue, and they signal about one month to November elections.

They're campaign signs, and in the town of Ballston, they sprouted up like weeds at the end of September.

Last year, members of the Democratic Party reported vandalism to signs for their candidates, even calling authorities about burned signs. Town of Ballston code enforcer Anton Rohrmeier said he's received one call already about signs illegally placed.

I got a phone call that one group of signs were over the line of the town of Ballston and into Malta, said Rohrmeier. "I guess this is where it all begins again."

Patti Southworth, Democratic candidate for town supervisor, said she has had her signs knocked over, and made a decision to change her placement strategy.

"I'm taking the signs off public property and out of stop sign areas," said Southworth. "I'll leave them on private properties if the owners have a setback from the roads. It could be distracting to drivers to see signs pushed down at the intersections."

Town board candidate Republican Tim Szczepaniak, however, said he hasn't had any problems with their party signs.

"Last year it got really ugly, so we're making an effort to keep it all positive this year," said Szczepaniak.

Southworth said she would be willing to remove all her signs if the Republicans took theirs down.

"I told the code enforcer it might be the best thing if we just took away the signs and focused on the issues," said Southworth. "Of course, I haven't heard back from the other party yet."


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