.

Taxpayers' Group Files Police Report on Missing Signs

Signs, However, Appeared on Public Property and Should Not Have Been There, Police Say

A co-founder of We the People of Fairfield, a taxpayers' advocacy group, filed a police report Saturday over signs she said had been stolen that had urged residents to vote "No" in a June 14 referendum.

But police said Monday that the signs had been on public property - a traffic island at the corner of Burr Street and Congress Street - and should not have been there. Police said two signs at that intersection had been reported as stolen.

Kate Daniello, co-founder of We the People, sent an e-mail to the media early Monday advising that she had filed a police report on the "stolen" signs and that nearly 100 of 200 signs she and her supporters had set up over the weekend were "stolen."

Daniello said in the e-mail that We the People "subsequently learned that signs cannot be placed unattended in public spaces" but added that the "Vote No" signs had been "in places where other signs advertising tag sales or the Discovery Garden Tour had already been placed and it should be noted that only our green signs were stolen."

Daniello wasn't available early Monday afternoon to say how many of the 100 signs she said were stolen over the weekend had been on public property.

Police Sgt. Sue Lussier, a department spokesman, said signs aren't supposed to be placed on traffic islands, on utility poles or in town rights-of-way. "You're not supposed to post those signs unless they're on private property," she said.

John Convertito, a leader of the "Vote Yes" contingent, said all of the signs supporting the June 14 referendum, to his knowledge, are on private property. Convertito said referendum supporters distributed signs to people who called or e-mailed requesting one, and supporters also had called residents who live in high-traffic areas to ask permission to put a sign on their property.

Convertito said about 400 "Vote Yes" signs are in Fairfield and that referendum supporters had made clear to people requesting a sign that it shouldn't be placed on public property.

Lussier said signs stolen from private property would constitute a theft, but she didn't think a sign removed from public property would technically be a theft since the sign isn't allowed to be there.

Lussier said police have the authority to remove signs that are on public property but it's up to the town's Zoning Department to enforce the prohibition of signs on public property and that zoning officials would normally enlist town Department of Public Works' employees to remove such signs.

The section of Fairfield's Zoning Regulations that pertains to signs on public property is Section 29.8.13, is entitled "Rights-of-Way"  and says: "No sign shall be permitted to overhang or be located within the right-of-way of any street."

Bryan LeClerc, chairman of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, confirmed that signs can't be placed within a right-of-way of a street, and LeClerc said that includes a traffic island.

Daniello in the e-mail asked that anyone who removed the "Vote No" signs turn them into the Town Clerk's Office in Old Town Hall.

The June 14 referendum is over the Representative Town Meeting's decision to cut $800,000 from the proposed 2011-12 Board of Education budget. Voting hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and a "Yes" vote means the voter is in favor of restoring the $800,000 to the school board budget, while a "No" vote means the voter is opposed.

Voting will take place in regular polling places, except for residents in District 2, who will vote in Burr Elementary School.

To win the referendum, and have the $800,000 restored, 25 percent of voters in Fairfield have to vote "Yes" and those votes also must be a majority of votes cast.

G Hoffman June 07, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Where's your evidence for this charge? Was there a conviction or even an arrest? Witnesses? The signs were posted illegally. Is that "Typical Behavior" for the "Vote No" crowd?
Doug Jones June 07, 2011 at 08:38 PM
The Tea Party shows their Johnny come lately nature by not being aware of the understanding we have in town regarding lawn signs. If they'd been more involved in the past, they would know that nonprofit, fundraisng signs (for church fairs, Relay for Life, etc) are given much more leeway in terms of placement than political signs. I realize it's a small sample but I find it very interesting that in my travels around town in the last few days I have yet to see one "Vote No" sign in front of a residence.
something to think about June 07, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Mrs. Daniello, I don't think it's right for a private citizen to take down a sign that's not properly placed by someone else (a public official or the sign owner should do that). However, now that you've known for at least 24 hours that posting signs in public places isn't allowed, why haven't you "immediately taken ALL of the signs" down on public places around town. In my short drive around town today I saw "No" signs by the Mill Plain entrance to FLHS, on public property on Duck Farm Road and one other place that escapes my memory. Yesterday I saw a sign on the Par 3 golf course property on S. Pine Creek Rd. I did not notice any "Yes" signs on any obviously public property (perhaps they might have been too close to the road on what the homeowners thought was their private property, but I'm not sure of what the law says is a town right-of-way on the land directly in front of your home).
Doug Jones June 07, 2011 at 10:04 PM
My point being that very few naysayers, other than Kate and Bob, will take public ownership of their positions. I may disagree with them, but I respect them for that much.
Alrick H Man IV June 07, 2011 at 11:27 PM
So all of you with yes signs out in front of your house within 10 feet of the curb ought to remove them as well because that is town property. Instead of slinging mud go educate yourselves about what the real issue is hear and it is not education or the lack there of!
something to think about June 07, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Mr. Man, I've read the Fairfield Zoning Regulations (well, in all honesty, I did a search in the on-line document on the phrase "right-of-way," I didn't have time or energy to read the whole thing!) and couldn't find any reference to the 10 feet you've stated -- would you kindly tell us where you learned this fact? In an article dated 6/6/11 in The Fairfield Citizen, Assistant Planning Director James Wendt is quoted saying: "The strip of land between the roadway and the sidewalk is not private property... but the public right-of-way." There was no mention in that article of what constitutes a public right-of-way in front of homes with no sidewalk or any mention of "10 feet of the curb." Thanks in advance for clearing this up for all of us.
Concerned Fairfielder June 08, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Kate, TAKE DOWN YOUR SIGNS !!!!!
vally June 08, 2011 at 01:09 AM
Why should she?! She can't get anyone to put signs up on their property so if she takes the illegally placed signs down there won't be any anywhere in town!
P.I. June 08, 2011 at 03:08 AM
The WTP signs are misleading. Voting NO will keep Fairfield affordable? Saving $40 per tax bill per year translates to people being able to pay their taxes? I do not think the BOE is fiscally responsible - they lost my trust when they approved Option E even though so many people urged them not to. However, voting NO will not be teaching anyone a lesson. If $40 each gets us $800k and the education system as a whole is improved, then good for all of us Fairfielders. Vote Yes!
Father of Four June 08, 2011 at 11:09 AM
The overall Town-wide budget, which includes $4.1 million in additional education spending for the coming year, received a STUNNING level of support at nearly 90% with 34 RTM members in support and ONLY 4 against, none of which were a Democrat. If Democrat members of the RTM were unhappy with the proposed level of education spending, why did they vote FOR the full budget??? By definition, Democrat RTM members who voted in support of the Town-wide budget, but did not qualify their vote (which there were none), “blessed” the earlier decision by the RTM majority to reduce the increase in education spending by $800k for the coming year. Personally I’d like to thank all of the Democrats on the RTM who voted for the full budget, since by their actions they too agree we can no longer afford the unfettered rate of growth in education spending. Now that’s bipartisanship.
Hamish June 08, 2011 at 11:34 AM
Father of Four, Great point,! Why did the Democrats vote for the budget with the 800K reduction in it? I beilieve there were only a few RTM'rs that voted against the budget. It would be interesting to see who voted against the budget and against the $800k?
something to think about June 08, 2011 at 12:29 PM
Only 38 out of 50 or 76% of the RTM members cared enough to vote for our town's budget??? Does anyone else think that's the most STUNNING part of this comment?
Doug Jones June 08, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Mr. Man, the right of way is not a uniform 10 feet from the curb. It varies from 8 feet to as much as 15 feet. Nonetheless, when the town agrees to mow the first 12 feet of my front lawn, I will keep my lawn signs off "town property."
Pat Paulson June 08, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Wow, I saw many "NO" signs on town/public property this am. I realize no one has the guts to put one of these up in their yard, but let's play by the rules. I put a call in to the town with the locations. If they are unable to remove the signs today I will take care of it tonight (thus saving the taxpayers a few bucks). If any law abiding citizen who will keep these off town property wants to pick these up I will bring any I collect to Gould Manor around 2 am.
Father of Four June 08, 2011 at 01:17 PM
The overall Town-wide budget, which includes $4.1 million in additional education spending for the coming year, received a STUNNING level of support at nearly 90% with 34 RTM members in support and ONLY 4 against, none of which were a Democrat. If Democrat members of the RTM were unhappy with the proposed level of education spending, why did they vote FOR the full budget??? By definition, Democrat RTM members who voted in support of the Town-wide budget, but did not qualify their vote (which there were none), “blessed” the earlier decision by the RTM majority to reduce the increase in education spending by $800k for the coming year. Personally I’d like to thank all of the Democrats on the RTM who voted for the full budget, since by their actions they too agree we can no longer afford the unfettered rate of growth in education spending. Now that’s bipartisanship.
Signs on public propery June 08, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Pat Paulson- WTP have planted signs at public parks (Sturges Field), at town property Eunice Postol rec center), state property (exit 19 I-95 on ramp, exit 22 N offramp, etc) and at public intersections (Mill Plain and Post Road). Placing one in front of St Thomas Church also done w/o permission. Perhaos others can post where other signs are illegally placed. I wish WTP would explain why they refuse to comply regarding removing the signs. They argue fairness at every turn which makes it so hypocritical.
vally June 08, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Again, why would WTP comply with the law? It behooves them to keep those illegally placed signs on display. I have yet to see a single "No" sign on private property.
Fairfield Resident June 08, 2011 at 03:46 PM
I find you to be Moronic.
Fairfield Resident June 08, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Free-Spending and Conceited....Have you no shame?!
Fairfield Resident June 08, 2011 at 03:48 PM
I urge everyone to remove any "yes" signs on Town or State property.
Amy Mezoff June 08, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Mr. Jones, The regulation says "15 feet from the paved portion of any roadway". I have yet to see a red sign that is 15 feet from a roadway. You are not following the rules. The 12 feet the town does not mow could not be less relevant. Seems like a case of the pot calling the kettle. By the way, the information came from the following link on the FACES website!!! http://www.facesffld.org/sign_zoning_regulations.pdf Either do it right or don't throw stones.
Doug Jones June 08, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Teller--My sign isn't obstructing any motorist's line of sight but I'll move it when WTP removes all signs from town and state rights of way. Fair enough?
Dermochelys coriacea June 08, 2011 at 06:43 PM
WTP sent a letter to the another Fairfield website about this, alleging that the red signs went up a week before the green (did they?) and that the Red's are stealing the Greens. It seems to me that they (and maybe all of us) are putting too much stock in these lawn signs. http://www.thedailyfairfield.com/opinion/fairfielder-charges-opponents-stealing-signs
Doug Jones June 08, 2011 at 07:17 PM
1. The reds did go up a week earlier, well within the 30 day window for a referendum. 2. There hasn't been an election yet in which both sides don't accuse each other of sign stealing. 3. It's patently obvious to me that the reason there are so many green signs in public locations is WTP members' unwillingness to take responsibility for their positions and opinions. Not unlike 90 percent of the posters on Patch, I would add.
TripleSix June 08, 2011 at 10:26 PM
I support Kate Daniello in her quest to eviscerate the Fairfield School system. As Fairfield builds homes on every available piece of land, the legions of impressionable young people will continue to increase. These are my potential recruits. As the per-student budget continues to plummet, these young people will no longer have the attention they need to thrive in a productive world. I will then convince them that my way is THE WAY. Plague and Pestilence will reign, dogs and cats will… Sorry. I got a little carried away. Thank you Kate.
FairfieldMom June 09, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Here's a thought....perhaps WTP could help defray taxes town-wide by volunteering in schools and keeping litter out of our town open spaces instead of penning letters to the editor & printing "Vote No" signs.
Dermochelys coriacea June 09, 2011 at 02:17 PM
I took a picture of an illegal Green sign this morning (its uploaded here, above) that is on the exit ramp of Exit 19. As I parked at the train station, I saw ANOTHER illegal green sign that was on public property by the bicycle rack at the train station. Both of these signs were new this morning. Its amazing to me that WTP is so flagrantly placing these when the laws have been firmly explained. Why would anyone trust this group with the town's financial decisions when they can't even abide by these simple rules?
lbh June 09, 2011 at 02:26 PM
There are at least 4 illegaly placed YES signs on Stratfield Rd/Easton Tpke. There is also a YES sign placed under a STOP sign on Edgewood Rd. However, I am sure no one has noticed them because no one stops at STOP signs in Fairfield and everbody drives over 50 mph on Stratfield Road.
Fairfield Taxpayer June 26, 2011 at 03:30 PM
removing the signs is a crime - so the "yes" voters are promoting criminal activity
Fairfield Taxpayer June 26, 2011 at 03:39 PM
Here's another thought ..... perhaps all the taxpayers with children in the schools could help defray taxes by donating an extra $1,000.00 or two to the schools instead of wasting money on referendums and printing up 1,000's of "yes" signs ....... the State is cutting spending, the goverment workers have been asked for consessions ..... but the Board of Education in Fairfield keeps asking for Millions of Dollars more every year ... time to cut spending and give the taxpayers a break! As you can see by the referendum failing most Fairfield taxpayers agree.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »