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Ethics code and sign law passed

Last-minute changes reduce nepotism restrictions, right-of-way distance

— Supervisor John Clarkson voted against removing the nepotism provisions.

“The whole idea of this provision is that it’s considered, by the folks at the Comptroller’s Office, many of us and many of the public, to be an impossible feat for, say, a parent to neutrally judge their own offspring in competition with someone else,” he said.

The law was passed by a unanimous vote after the changes were made.

Split vote for new sign law

Wednesday’s meeting hinted at continued confusion over the town’s sign law. Several residents spoke at the public hearing merely to get clarification on where signs can now be placed, including Paul Miller, chairman of the board of the North Bethlehem Fire Department.

The old law did not allow for signs to be placed in the right-of-way of any road owned by the town, county or state but because of vagueness in the wording and poor enforcement, many believed otherwise.

“We have been told by the county and the state that they don’t want any signs on county or state roads, so all we’re doing is eliminating any potential ambiguity” said Kuhn.

The new version of the law allows temporary signs to be placed on private, non-commercial property at the discretion of the property owner. Temporary signs such as advertising for community events and political signs cannot be placed on town, county or state owned roads.

The board did vote to lessen the proposed right-of-way length in the law for signs on private property from 15 feet to 5 feet. Kuhn proposed the change after hearing several complaints from residents that the length was too far back.

“Fifteen feet, that’s my front door,” said Kim Lawler, co-chairwoman of the Hamagrael Elementary PTA, who was among the first residents to bring complaints about the law to the board. “Who can see at my front door if we’re trying to advertise an event?”

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