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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Thursday, October 18

More signs of politics

I have more information about the mystery of the missing signs, as I have been calling it in my head.

Wednesday I wrote about the complaints by some political figures in the city who said their political signs have disappeared from city streets.

Democratic Chairman Charles Brown said the signs were gone from all the streets he checked, and he wasn't the only one.

Since then, everyone I've talked to said they have noticed fewer signs (some are not as upset about it as others) and I've heard City Judge Jeff Wait, who is running for a seat on the State Supreme Court, has also reported disappearing signs.

So too has Pat Kane, organizer of Saratoga Citizen, who not only said that roughly 250 of Saratoga Citizen's "Vote Yes" signs have vanished, but also that one of his organization's volunteers saw a man replacing them with "Vote No" signs and tossing Saratoga Citizen's signs into his car.

Public Safety Commissioner Eileen Finneran said the signs were not taken down by code enforcement officers with the exception of a series of signs on Weibel Avenue which were posted on city property.

Public Works Commissioner Anthony "Skip" Scirocco maintains that he did not give any order to remove any signs and does not know if his crews took any down. However, he said "If they're on city property, I'll have them taken down."  He also said he wouldn't necessarily know if the crews removed signs from city property.

But that's not the allegation. Many in the city said the signs were removed wholesale — signs for every candidate pulled from most streets.

He told me Wednesday that between 200 to 250 signs were dumped in front of the Transfer Station on Monday, but he doesn't know who did it.

The transfer station attendee said the signs "were for no one specifically," but rather ran the political gamut. She said Deputy DPW Commissioner Tim Cogan came down with his truck and hauled them away. The attendee said it was "a truck load," but could offer no estimate on the number.

Cogan said it was about 50 (a far cry from 200) and that he brought them to the DPW garage where they currently sit with about 30 to 40 other signs that were removed from city property.

I'm still working on something for the paper, because it seems that there are some unanswered questions.

If it wasn't DPW crews (which many people have said it was), then who took down all the signs? If it was only 50 at the transfer station, then what happened to the rest, particularly the 250 that Kane says he lost?

Look for the answers in the paper this weekend.


Blogger Ben lives on said...

That's easy Kane is exaggerating

October 19, 2012 at 3:17 PM 
Anonymous DakChili said...

Kudos to DPW or whomever did this for removing the ugly, distracting and unwanted political and other signage throughout our city. These signs should not be allowed on public property without a permit from City Hall.

October 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same thing always happens during election time. Watch out for the dead fish on the porch Pat!

October 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy The Tulip strikes again! I wonder who they are using now to do their dirty work. Dead fish will be the next item on the agenda!

October 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget the sign that was removed from the fire truck that was parked in front of King's Tavern.

Do you remember who the sign-taker-person was?

October 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM 
Blogger demroc said...

hey lucian, here is a lead for you and certainly proof of a pattern of behavior.

Public Works Commissioner Thomas McTygue watched from his truck as an employee of his department ripped his political opponent’s campaign signs out of the ground on South Broadway this morning, Police Chief Edward Moore said.

City police will likely not make an arrest in the 8:30 a.m. incident, in which Public Works employee John Wine allegedly uprooted two Skip Scirocco signs near Paradiso restaurant and hurled them behind some bushes, Moore said.

Four city officers spotted Wine in the act and re-enter McTygue’s truck at the site, Moore said. The officers confronted and interviewed both men and conducted an investigation, but no arrests were made.

“Tommy McTygue was caught red-handed with an accomplice, stealing some of my campaign lawn signs,” Scirocco said. “While it is obvious that this was ethically wrong but typical of the McTygue campaign, I decided during the day that it is in the best interest of everyone in the city for me to not press charges,” Scirocco said.

McTygue could not immediately be reached for comment. He told Channel 9 that Scirocco’s signs did not belong on the site, where several McTygue signs were planted.

Moore could not say if the property was privately-owned, or if the signs were placed on a city-administered right of way. He did say that neither McTygue nor Wine had permission to remove any signs.

October 21, 2012 at 8:42 AM 
Blogger demroc said...

didn't we have a former commissioner of public works get caught taking signs?

October 21, 2012 at 6:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice in the Gazette this morning (10/22) that Pat Kane has dropped the story about SUCCESS stealing his signs. Now he's telling Lee Coleman "It's everybody's signs." Maybe the "they're stealing my signs" stuff he was pedaling was negatively affecting his brand.....

October 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM 

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