Manhasset civic groups have asked North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and local candidates to remove political campaign signs from public property, saying they distract drivers and detract from the aesthetic value of their neighborhoods.
“When you’ve got a dangerous curve in a road or a dangerous high-volume traffic intersection, you want a driver’s eyes on the road,” said Richard Bentley, president of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations. “It is distracting to have not only one sign but typically dozens of signs.”
Requests to remove the signs also came from the presidents of several Manhasset civic associations.
Bentley said a town ordinance prohibits the posting of campaign signs on public property but it is not well enforced.
Both candidates for the 7th state Senate District, Democrat Adam Haber and Republican Elaine Phillips, have been responsive to requests to take down their signs, Bentley said.
Democratic congressional candidate Tom Suozzi and Conrad Singer, a candidate for Family Court judge, have been “very uncooperative,” he said.
Town officials and candidates heed nine out of every ten requests to take down signs, he added.
“If a candidate can’t instruct staff on taking down signs during the campaign, then how much confidence do we have that he’ll instruct his staff well on what to do when he’s in office?” asked John Minogue, the president of Bayview Civic Association.
A few weeks ago, Manhasset civic officials asked Bosworth to have signs on public property taken down, Minogue said. She had the signs taken down a couple days later, but they returned soon after, he added.
Approximately one week ago, she had them removed again. Many have returned again in advance of Election Day.
Minogue said one location with the most yard signs is what he called “deadman’s curve,” a windy curve on Bayview Avenue along Manhasset Bay. Another spot with many signs is at the corner of Community Drive and Northern Boulevard, which neighbors Whitney Lake.
Liz Miller, president of the Shorehaven Civic Association, mentioned the corner of Bayview Avenue and Maple Street as a particularly troubling location for signs.
“We should have a penalty attached to improperly placed signs,” Miller said. She acknowledged that the signs are likely placed by staff members or volunteers with the campaigns and advised sending a letter to campaigns detailing the rules.
Bentley said the town should strengthen the enforcement of its ordinance prohibiting political signs on public property.
“But all the people who sit on the Town Board are local candidates,” he said. “They’ll be out there campaigning when their term is up.”