Electronic political signs pulled down in Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Political signs in Saratoga were taken down the day before the general election because the city said they were a danger to the public.

Five, portable electronic signs typically used for highway warnings were placed around the city of Saratoga Springs advertising two local candidates. The signs were up for about a week but were eventually removed Monday morning.

The signs advertised republican mayoral candidate John Safford and republican commission of public safety candidate Rick Wirth. It rubbed a few local drivers the wrong way, and the signs violated a city code.

“They’re not supposed to advertise anything in lights or blinking flashing anything that could distract the public, especially the driving public,” Code Enforcement Officer Dan Cogan said. “These signs are used to warn the public that something is coming up.”

Five of them were found all over Saratoga and its outskirts, including major highways such as Route 9 and Route 50. Cogan said one on Route 29 could have caused an accident.

“One particular sign was placed in a way so the sign was actually extended into the right away close enough so it could have been hit by a vehicle,” he said.

NEWS10 ABC reached out to the candidates on the sign. Wirth said he had nothing to do with the ads.

“I had no idea,” he said. “I don’t know who it is.”

Donnelly Construction Inc. is the name of the company where the signs were rented. Code enforcement said when they reached out to the construction company, they weren’t aware what they were being rented for. But since they were notified, the signs were switched off.

Code enforcement said local business owner Dave Collins was behind the political ads, but since the signs were removed quickly, it doesn’t appear anyone will be penalized.

NEWS10 ABC reached out to Collins, but he did not return the call.


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