Amherst town selectmen eye political signs

AMHERST – Political signs that lined the roads this election year were an eyesore, one resident told selectmen last week.

Sign proliferation is disgusting, Dave Wil­liams said, especially at the intersection of Routes 122 and 101, where it spoils a main entrance to town.

Williams said he asked on his Facebook page if anyone is interested in the problem, and it ex­ploded with comments calling the signs "obnox­ious" and "terrible."

"Fall is the most beau­tiful time of the year, and visitors from all over the world see our town rep­resented that way," he said at the board’s Nov. 14 meeting.

Under state law, the permission of the land­owner is needed before political signs are in­stalled, whether they’re on private property or on public property in front of private property.

That means many of the signs on local roads probably were illegal.

In the past, the town has tried to enforce the law, but it’s difficult be­cause there is no pen­alty attached to it, said Selectman Peter Lyon, a former Amherst police chief.

Years ago, "We pulled up signs, but it was like pushing sand against the tide," he said."We could do it, but we will catch grief for it, and do we want to pay police to pick them up on a daily basis?"

Town Administrator Jim O’Mara said he and Community Develop­ment Director Gordon Leedy will research the issue and get back to the board.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.