Municipalities look to leave elected officials' names off signage
Changes are coming to some of the signs posted at public locations in Nassau and parts of Suffolk.
Several municipalities are looking to leave off the names of elected officials from signs at parks and other public places. Some residents say it amounts to self-promotion by politicians.
Smithtown Councilman Tom McCarthy says not having to paint or print new signs every time a new elected official takes office will save the town around $5,000 a year.
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"We're saving small amounts of money, which are important. But if you ever did this initiative statewide, you'd save millions of dollars," says McCarthy.
The current sign at Brady Park in Smithtown still shows the name of longtime Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, who was defeated in November. There are plans to remove the portion of the sign that includes names -- and not replace it.
New Nassau County Executive Laura Curran made a campaign issue out of names on public signs, and is now having them removed.
"Taxpayer money is not meant for names on signs of politicians. It's your park, it's not my park," she says.
Political consultant Mike Dawidziak says while many politicians think that having their names on signs helps their name recognition, he says removing them may be a more politically astute move.
"Does it cost a lot of money to do this? No, it really doesn't. But it's a good gesture to the public that they're not wasting their money," Dawidziak says.
Still, other municipalities say they'll continue the practice. A spokesperson for Suffolk County says having names on signs is a matter of general information and public safety.