Signs of an Ugly Election Season?

Two signs for Republican candidates in Barrington disappear from in front of a Blount Circle home early Thursday morning.

Kay Chapin sees signs -- actually the absence of signs -- that indicate it could be an ugly election season in Barrington.

Two signs for Republican candidates disappeared from in front of her Blount Circle home early Thursday morning, July 12, Chapin said.

“I had a sign for Brendan Doherty and a sign for Barry Hinckley,” she said. “Both were here when I went out at 6 this morning. They were gone at 8:30."

The Doherty for Congress and Hinckley for Senate signs were posted about three weeks ago, Chapin said. Each one was about 18x36 inches in size.

“They were unobtrusive, I think,” she said. “I certainly don’t think they were a traffic hazard.”

To make sure, she actually had a reflector attached to the signs to alert drivers to them.

“They took the reflector, too,” Chapin said.

Chapin reported the disappearance to the police. A patrol officer took a report.

“I am presuming the opposition took the signs,” Chapin said. “The police said this is the first time this election season they’ve gotten a report.”

Chapin also thinks it may be a first in her neighborhood.

“I am very distressed that Blount Circle has had a theft,” she said. “This is supposed to be a safe area. Next step is sentry cameras.”

Chapin plans to replace the signs. In the meantime, she has nailed a smaller sign for Hinckley to a tree in front of her home.

“I want to make sure people are aware of this,” she said of the theft.

DanComment July 12, 2012 at 10:59 PM
thought Barrington had a law that no signs were allowed?
steve primiano July 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Barrington's local Republican and Democratic Parties have had an agreement not to post yard signs, and candidates for local office have generally adhered to that agreement. There is no law to prevent a resident from posting signs on thier own, and we often see them for candidates for statewide office.
Joel Hellmann July 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Steve- not only do the Democrats and Republicans in town enjoyed that agreement so do all the independents I know who have run. It makes the town nicer place to be. No one should take down anyone's sign, but Politics are ugly enough with out a sign on everyone's lawn.
Gary Morse July 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Steve, That agreement makes sense to curb the 4 x 8 sheets of painted plywood that regularly show up in certain towns throughout the state. Historically, Barrington residents have been responsible in their postings whether Democrats, Republicans, or Independents.
Marcia M. Weeden July 13, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Why anyone is presuming it was "the opposition" who took the signs? It could have been anybody for a number of reasons, e.g., a neighbor who thought the signs brought the property values down, kids pulling a prank, teens wanting something to put up in their rooms, somebody who thinks it is unlawful to post political signs in Barrington, or even somebody who just doesn't like the home owner. The "ugly politics" is coming from the people who make accusations without any proof and globally apply one incident to everyone across the board.
dpink July 13, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Excellent point Maria!
Joel Hellmann July 13, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I did not presume the oppistion and I made no accusation. I just stated no one should take down signs. also Just that no one needs to put them up. If people put them up it is their right and no one has a right to take down anyone's sign. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone stayed civil in the election year?
Marcia M. Weeden July 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Nobody said that you did, Joel. Kay Chapin did.
carol July 13, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Barrington is an odd little town, worried about how the signs will make the town look. Should probably worry more about the behavior of residents and vandalism. Allow the signs for all parties during elections to help promote the candidates. Residents are pretty small minded if they can't tolerate a little healthy election signage activity.
kay chapin July 13, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Correct Marcia,I did only assumed that the signs were removed by the opposition because we know all of our neighbors and no one here is adversarial. They would have let me know if the signs were bothersome. Plus we live on a circle...no one just drives by casually. Our traffic is minimal. What is bothersome however is your excusing theft by suggesting a reason. Nothing can justify a theft! kay
kay chapin July 13, 2012 at 08:49 PM
oops.... pardon typo it should say "assume" not assumed kay
Joel Hellmann July 14, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Carol- while I endorse the right to put up signs, Anyone who is convinced to vote for a candidate becasue of a sign is small minded.
Jack Baillargeron July 14, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Well I agree Joel with the vote because of a sign,(same as voting on a single issue to me) the sign are really just a way to let people know of a canidates so that they will hopefully then go and learn more about the person, so they can make an informed vote. The sad reality is so many do not have funds to advertise in media, so this is a great cheap alternative, as long as it is not out of hand; That only turns people off to the person in my opinion. But I fully support any home owner putting signs up, as long as they comply with local zoning regs. Shame someone thought to steal these, that is a pretty sad, statement in a free society no matter who did it. Squelching free speech is wrong period ;-}.
Marcia M. Weeden July 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Kay, you sure have it all figured out, don't you? What are "bothersome" are your presumptions. Why not try reading for accuracy? 1.) I never said, implied, or insinuated that theft is acceptable. 2.) Because theft is serious in nature with many ramifications, I am very cautious about assuming anything. I came up with more possibilities of who might have taken your signs: 1.) Somebody who hates politics in general. 2.) Somebody who came by in a boat and took the signs on a lark. 3.) Somebody who took them for the thrill of stealing or dared another person to do so. 4.) Somebody who harbors secret resentments towards you. 5.) Somebody who likes "pushing your buttons" and is laughing at the lengths you will go to in reaction. 6.) Somebody who is embarrassed by your behavior and opinions and wanted your signs gone. 7.) Somebody who hates signs on lawns. 8.) Somebody hates people who live in Barrington. All valid possibilities. Some are personal, some aren't. Mindsets vary and people will do things for many different reasons. Opinions are not facts. The difference between a presumption and the facts of a situation can be so extreme that we can end up with a George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin tragedy. Please, be real careful. You don't even know what happened at this point. Let the police do their jobs. Question the value your presumptions and actions have on reputations because in the end, the reputation you are most harming is your own.
Gina July 15, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I wonder how different a few of these responses would be, had these been a couple of Re-Elect Obama signs...
Joel Hellmann July 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM
As a devout independent, I assure you I would react the same. I wrote a letter against a democrat placing signs a few year ago
Marcia M. Weeden July 17, 2012 at 02:01 PM
They would be the same from me, Gina. I'm a registered Independent, by the way.
Pledgling September 01, 2012 at 12:02 PM
They put signs up in Johnston, North Providence, and Providence, why not put them up here. It is just the homeowner's choice. It doesn't have to get heated like this. As a resident of North Providence, I actually like the signs. It makes me excited to vote!
Lorraine F September 01, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Pledge - I lived in North Providence through the Sal Mancini era (15 years) and moved away because of the political nonsense. My husband was a North Providence political junkie just like you. It's the same reason I moved away from him. Happy in Barrington with no signs on the horizon!
Lorraine F September 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Here is an interesting way to look at this. Look at the financial health of each town as a percentage of the signage in each town. That should tell you something If my memory serves me correct, you cannot drive down Mineral Spring Ave in October and read the business signs because of the overlapping political signs. It's like staring into one of those 3-D pictures for 10 minutes to finally see jumping dolphins.


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