1st amendment and Chatham New Jersey don’t work “Perfect together” … Tom Kean Sr.
I found this very disturbing. Today Monday July 6th while driving up Main Street in Chatham Boro I witnessed and took pictures of a Chatham DPW worker removing Rosemary Becchi Political signs off of Main Street in said Borough. The sign behind Rosemary’s was a Mikki Sherrill’s sign and that sign was left along as where all others on main street for Mikki and other candidates. I also called and spoke to the Chatham Business Administrator Steve Williams prior to keying up this email. I urged them to put the signs back where they were as this is a First Amendment right of the candidate. Mr. William’s told me that they have an ordinance in place about the size of the signs in their town. I reminded him that just up the street from these so called wrong sized signs there are all sorts of signs for “Front line workers” and apartments newly renovated for rent signs etc. I by the way have nothing against the signs up the street especially the signs thanking our front line workers who are amazing and should have the recognition . Chatham has struggled with the constitutionality of signs all the way back to 2011. In an article below the council over road the Veto of then Mayor Vaughan on this vary controversial subject. I find the use of DPW workers on Tax Payers time part of the issue and second that this is clearly a violation of Freedom of Speech and the first amendment. Irrespective to the size and or scope the signs they should have remained where they were given that tomorrow is election day.
Council Unanimously Overrides Borough's First Veto
Mayor concerned some limitations of the sign ordinance violate the Constitution.
Oct 25, 2011 1:58 am ET|Updated Oct 25, 2011 1:48 pm ET
The Chatham Borough Council voted unanimously Monday night to override Mayor Nelson Vaughan's veto of the amendments to the sign ordinance.
The amendments to the sign ordinance passed unanimously on second reading at the Oct. 11 meeting. It includes several restrictions to political signs that were part of the original ordinance, including a limiting size to no more than 4-feet squared and can be displayed for no more than 30 days. It also prohibits billboards in the borough.
At the Sept. 26 meeting, borough resident Ed DiFiglia told the council the ordinance could be construed as limiting political speech. He said the ordinance could be challenged and overturned in court.
Vaughan exercised his right of veto, the first mayoral veto in the borough's history, due to these issues. He said the limitations were unconstitutional and left the borough open to a potential lawsuit.