City planners pass ordinance prohibiting political signage on city property and public rights-of-way • Hero worship and trendy blue lines everywhere • https://CitizenCain.org
Submitted as a letter to the Keene Sentinel:
In a 3 to 1 vote, the Planning, Licenses, and Development committee passed a resolution to prohibit the posting of political advertising on city property and public rights-of-way. The resolution goes to full council on the 20th.
To many, the the political signage around town can be messy at times, especially during presidential years, but this resolution is a clear violation of our freedom of speech rights and also conflicts with current state statute that protects placing political signs on public property.
As it stands, RSA 31:41-c authorizes municipalities to create bylaws regulating electioneering. But state statute RSA 664:17 protects the placement of political signs on public rights-of-way, as long as it doesn’t obstruct the safe flow of traffic.
This comes right on the heels of a ridiculous new amendment to RSA 659:43 that now prohibits voters from entering the polling place wearing campaign related clothing. Clearly some of our state reps have entirely too much time on their hands.
Passing this new ordinance will undoubtedly open up lawsuits against the city which they will likely lose. The courts do routinely recognize extra protections for political speech. That means “we” the taxpayers will be picking up the tab as usual for mistakes made by the city. Please contact your city councilors and urge them to vote against this.
As part of a growing trend around the country, Keene city councilor Philip Jones made a recommendation to the Municipal Services, Facilities and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday to paint a blue line down the center of Marlboro St in downtown Keene. This effort “would serve as a reminder that they (Keene Police Department) always have the support of the local community.”
Most attending the hearing spoke favorably of the service provided by KPD but there were some concerns over the precedent this request would create; what over city departments and organizations would want their own personalized line painted in the street next?
As the only dissenting voice at the hearing, I explained my concerns over this “every cop gets a trophy mentality.” Recognition should only be given to those who have gone above and beyond and never handed out simply because you wear a special uniform. This blue line creates a statement that “all” police should be recognized as heroes regardless of their performance.
The request was ultimately postponed until next hearing in order to gather more information regarding the final cost and equipment needed.
A City Council committee postponed making a decision on a proposal to paint a blue traffic line down Marlboro Street to show appreciation for Keene’s police officers.
At a meeting of the municipal services, facilities and infrastructure committee Wednesday night, Vice Chairman Randy L. Filiault said city staff need more time to answer questions about the proposal’s cost and research how similar projects have gone over in other communities.
The proposal came before the council last week after Ward 5 Councilor Philip M. Jones filed a memo asking that city staff paint a blue line down the middle of Marlboro Street to show support and respect for the services provided by members of the city’s police department. (more…)
I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new Keene based news commentary program, Citizen Cain. Join us every Sunday between 8-9pm to discuss local issues, current events and politics. We currently stream live on Facebook (may be switching to YouTube soon) and then later air on Cheshire TV. Feel free to call in during the show to discuss anything Keene related, 267-521-2771 or email me at Show@CitizenCain.org
This weeks show: South bridge nearing completion • Historic district proposal withdrawn • Consulting group takes over search for new city manager • A thin blue line down Marlboro St
I’m pleased to announce that I am running for NH State Rep, Cheshire county district 7, Keene ward 4. Some of you may be wondering why I am running as a Democrat as opposed to a party more aligned with my ideology. This is because of the difficulty getting 3rd party candidates on the ballot. No, I’m not trying to hijack the Democratic Party. Perhaps one year I’ll find the extra time to collect 150 signatures and run on a liberty party ticket, or maybe, if elected, I’ll have the much needed opportunity to tweak NH’s ballot access laws which currently favors the monopoly held by the D’s and the R’s.
The next step: defeat incumbent Gladys Johnson in the State Primary held Sep 13th.
Big thanks to Darryl Perry for producing the following 5min candidate’s profile video and for making the same opportunity available to all interested candidates in the region.