If there’s anything that can compete with the fight for elected office in Darien in terms of intensity, it is the battle of political signs.
And it seems to have started earlier than ever this year, as passionate politicos eager to support their candidates almost beat the falling leaves to dot their lawns with colorful signs.
Guidelines put forward by the town’s Planning & Zoning Department state that signs should not be put out earlier than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election
Despite those guidelines, driving down Mansfield Avenue, for example, a variety of lawns have offered a selection of election support for a few weeks now.
Both the Beautification Commission and P&Z have also asked that signs not be placed on public property.
The Beautification Commission in particular is concerned with the highly visible spots it maintains for public gardens, and is permitted by police to remove political signs if they are placed on those areas.
The signs are only going to get more proliferous as October comes to end, and as election fever takes over in town.
And the closer the election gets, the more frequent the other sign phenomenon starts.
Darienites have already taken to Twitter to complain about lawn signs being stolen, including one incident of a political magnet being stolen off a car.
These complaints have gone on for years, including during the surprisingly heated probate election of 2010.
Love them or hate them, campaign signs, like elections, and like Freedom of Speech, aren’t going anywhere. And enthusiasm for elections and public service is a good thing.
But the use of signs should be considerate to the town, neighbors and fellow drivers. Like not putting them out too early, not putting them on property that doesn’t belong to you, and lastly, not stealing them.
How you handle your use of political signs not only makes a statement about you, it makes a statement about the candidate you support and what kind of people support him or her.
Make it a good statement.