Political lawn signs questioned

Citing town code, a resident told the Town Board that Bethlehem has become littered with illegal political signs, and called on the town to remove the clusters of political signs.

Norman Morand, a member the town's Republican committee, delivered a passionate, and at times confrontational, pitch to the town board at its Wednesday, Aug. 27, meeting, asking them to enforce the zoning code and prevent Bethlehem from looking like a honky tonk town.

Section 128-59 of the town code states, "No signs other than an official traffic sign shall be erected in the right-of-way of any public streets or highway."

Morand asked the town take down the signs, but the board said such a move would be impossible to enforce on a townwide level.

When the board denied Morand's plea for "immediate action," even though members said they would consider reviewing the sign code section, he threatened to "put up a big sign on my front lawn, and I dare anyone to tell me to take it down, and we can go to court over that."

Morand called on Supervisor Jack Cunningham to take the matter seriously.

"Jack, you do not own the town of Bethlehem. You are elected to uphold the laws of this town and not to carry out your personal desires," Morand said. "If the Town Board wants the public to respect and obey the laws, the board has no alternative but to vote to enforce this law and have the political signs removed now."

Cunningham said the town would take Morand's comments for the record, but without a motion by a board member, no action could be taken that evening.

"The town cannot pick and choose when they decide to enforce the law," Morand concluded, adding that the town brought Glenmont Alteri's owner Harvey Quinn to court over the use of a banner of his business.

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