Town Backs Off Demands That Man Remove 'Impeach Trump' Sign From Home - NECN

Town Backs Off Demands That Man Remove 'Impeach Trump' Sign From Home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    'Impeach Trump' Sign to Stay Put in Wellesley

    A Massachusetts couple who put up an "Impeach Trump" sign at their house could have been fined hundreds of dollars a day if they did not take the sign down. But town officials have backed off from that threat.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019)

    Dan Chiasson knew his "Impeach Trump" sign on the outside of his home in Wellesley, Massachusetts, was breaking town bylaws.

    But he didn't care.

    "Mine is clearly in violation," said Chiasson. "It's really a free speech issue, and they don't have the right to restrict speech in the same way that they might restrict other kinds of zoning matters."

    But when a complaint came in that the sign was too big and violating town rules, a town inspector came out and cited him this week.

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    "People shout at me from trucks and cars a lot," said Chiasson. "I wasn't expecting the town to put its muscle behind a complaint of this nature."

    The town gave him seven days to remove it, or pay a fine of up to $300 a day.

    Chiasson posted the citation on social media, and soon, it was getting lots of attention.

    "It just sort of snowballed from there," said the Wellesley College professor.

    The town is now backing off and rescinding the violation notice.

    "After speaking with town counsel and taking a look at our sign bylaw, and in light of recent federal court cases about political signs, it's given us the opportunity to review our sign bylaw and see if we need to make some changes," said Stephanie Hawkinson, the town's communications manager.

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    Chiasson says he had no plans to remove the sign or pay the fines anyway.

    "There are Trump signs in town, and I occasionally grumble when I'm driving by them, and sometimes I give them the finger, but I support their right to hang those signs," said Chiasson.

    Town officials will likely take months to review the sign rules and make any changes.

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