It’s Election Season. Sign Here.

The Westport Police Department is non-partisan. But — like every Westporter – every fall they get caught in the great political sign crossfire.

They say:

With the approaching November elections comes the traditional posting of political signage.

Once again the Westport Police Department has begun to receive complaints related to the disappearance, removal, and/or theft of these signs.

Residents and visitors are advised against taking it upon themselves to remove
signs that do not belong to them, from either public or private property. The
enforcement of the town’s rules is the responsibility of the town of Westport, not
private citizens.

The removal of signs from public or private property by someone not authorized to do so by the town, or by the owner of the sign, may constitute theft.

Entering onto private property to remove signs may also constitute
trespassing. Both of these acts can ultimately result in arrest.

Political signs are considered an expression of free speech, and are allowed on
public property.

It is not advisable to place signs on state property (including rights of way and islands along Routes 1, 136, 57, 33, and the Sherwood Island Connector, nor on the exit or entrance ramps of I-95 or the Merritt Parkway), as the state may remove them.

No sign may be placed on any school property without the prior permission
of the Superintendent’s office.

No sign may be placed within the interior of Compo Beach or Longshore.

No sign may be placed on Town Hall property.

No sign may be placed on trees or utility poles.

No sign may interfere with traffic visibility.

Signs on private property require property owner approval. Signs on private
property must not extend beyond the property line or into the town right-of-
way. It is suggested they be removed within 2 days after the election.

Finally! A candidate we can all agree on. (Photo/Luke Garvey)

9 responses to “It’s Election Season. Sign Here.

  1. I don’t see a sign that says “WOOG.”

  2. Political signs are the dumbest idea in history. I think a three-year-old originated it. Like anyone is going to be swayed to vote for someone by seeing lots of signs for them. The worst part is how they clutter up roads and lawns all over the place. And how moron residents feel they just must make sure everyone knows who they support. Signs should be illegal.

  3. Dan,
    Once again you have gifted us with a timely & important public service.
    Signs have always been the bane of any department in charge of such enforcement, whether the P&ZC, the WPD, the CT DOT or others.
    In my experience, the provision of permitted activities in addition to prohibitions offers the best balance & clarity when describing rules & regulations.
    Although your piece was particularly informative, I was left wondering exactly where signs CAN be located.
    For example, if signs may NOT be located in a road right-of-way, the accompanying photo appears to show at least one sign in the Compo RD South right-of-way (ROW).
    How so? Utility poles are usually located in road ROW’s, hence at least one of the signs appears to encroach.
    It isn’t easy to determine the location of most ROW’s because the boundaries are almost never the same as the edge of pavement.
    To anyone who wants further guidance on the subject, the Town’s GIS system offers the best source of information.
    Finally, this subject brings to mind the song “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band.

  4. Let’s make sure we out our neighbors. Names, addresses, public shame them should we witness any violations! (tongue in cheek people).

  5. If signs are “the dumbest thing in history” as one post here suggest, and they don’t change anyone’s mind, (which I tend to agree with) not sure why someone wants to remove them.
    I guess some feel the need to let people know where they stand politically, it’s a free country and they have that right, not matter their motive. Obviously those removing them, think they make some kind of statement as well. Difference is one is legal the other one is not.

  6. Regulations and laws are useless without enforcement. It’s been proven year after year that responsible parties don’t remove illegal signs of any kind (including those on electrical poles, which I suppose Eversource [ha] could remove), so of course the rules are flouted, by sign placers *and* frustrated citizens. Interesting that only citizens are threatened with penalties.

  7. I live in Westport and exercise (run / cycle) all over this beautiful town and have no problem with the placement of these signs. Let’s just make sure they are retrieved and appropriately discarded when the election season is over.

    Can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped / picked up these signs weeks and months after their message / messaging is no longer relevant.

  8. Let me clarify my earlier post. Stopped and picked them up after they’ve become “trash”, i.e. fallen over, been run over, been plowed under, are in the woods covered with mud / dirt, are torn / faded, etc.

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