Crazy season has begun as campaigns gear up for primary election in September and the November general election.
In Spring Valley, mayoral candidate Bernard Charles Jr. screamed foul with he said 80 of his campaign signs were removed from the streets.
Charles claimed Mayor George Darden, who is not seeking re-election, order the DPW to cherry-pick his signs, while leaving those for five others untouched. He said he confronted Darden on Thursday and gave a vocal complaint to Officer Jorge Marciano on Friday.
“Darden told me he didn’t know what happened and didn’t know where my signs were,” Charles said. “He told me my signs were not put down legally. There was no real explaination why.”
Darden responded today that Charles paid his $100 sign permit fee late Wednesday afternoon and the deputy clerk didn’t add his name to the list until the next day.
The early list of permit-holders used by the DPW didn’t contain his name on Thursday morning and crews removed his signs.
Darden said an honest mistake was made and Charles was not singled out.
“He slipped through the cracks,” Darden said. “He came in here yelling and screaming. There was no way to reason with him. So I just told him I didn’t know. I looked into it later. This was nobody’s fault.”
Darden said the village regulations on signs are there to keep the streets clean and campaign signs off village property. He noted he helped another candidate get her signs off village property.
Most first-time candidate – like Charles – get angry when their signs are taken, Darden said, noting Deputy Mayor Norami Jasmin already has had close to 150 signs pilfered.
Darden said he will make all candidates live to the letter of the law when it comes to campaign signs.
Above, Bernard Charles with some of his campaign signs returned to him by the Spring Valley DPW.