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Long IslandPolitics

Oyster Bay supervisor campaign signs posted despite restrictions

Campaign sign for Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino

Campaign sign for Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino in public right of way in Bethpage on June 13, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / Ted Phillips

Campaign signs for Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino have popped up in public rights of way and on town property despite the town’s restrictions on when and where political signs can be posted.

The town board in December amended the zoning code to prohibit temporary political signs being placed more than 120 days before an election, on public land or in the public right of way, commonly known as the utility strip between a sidewalk and street.

On Tuesday, with the Nov. 7 election more than 140 days away, four campaign signs were stuck into the grass in Bethpage and Massapequa. One was posted on Oyster Bay Town property on the corner of Sunrise Highway and Broadway in Massapequa — land used as a municipal parking lot serving Long Island Rail Road commuters. Three other signs have been posted in the right of way on Stewart Avenue between Albergo Court and Park Lane.

Saladino said Tuesday that “overzealous” volunteers may have put up the signs up.

“I have instructed volunteers to remove those sign, and not put signs out in the public right of way, and wait until the appropriate day to put those up,” Saladino said.

Robert Freier, an executive recruiter from Woodbury running for a Town Board seat as a Democrat, said the signs should be removed and Saladino should be investigated to determine whether his campaign violated town laws.

“He’s the supervisor of the town and he took an oath to uphold the laws of the town ... he should know the rules,” Freier said. “Our campaign knows the rules in the Town of Oyster Bay and we will not be giving out any signs until we’re legally allowed to do so.”

Saladino said Freier’s comments were politically motivated.

Republican Saladino, a longtime state Assemblyman, was appointed Supervisor on Jan. 31 to fill the remainder of John Venditto’s term after he resigned to focus on his legal defense against federal corruption charges.

The all-Republican board adopted the new law as part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by former town board candidate Christopher Briggs in 2013. Briggs alleged that town employees had removed his political signs on town time while using town-owned vehicles and put up signs of his political opponents.

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