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Minoa joins list of municipalities to begin reassessing lawn sign law

Other municipalities take note; begin to think about reassessing their laws

— After the town of Manlius voted to repeal its contested political lawn sign ordinance on Sept. 11, municipalities across Onondaga County are beginning to look into their own rules to make sure they comply with residents’ first amendment rights. The village of Skaneateles voted to make a similar change on Sept. 12, and the Minoa village board decided it should also reassess its law at its Sept. 16 meeting.

The village of Minoa’s rules pertaining to political lawn signs are nearly identical to what the town of Manlius had written down before the law was repealed – residents must obtain a permit from the village and may not put up signs prior to 30 days before the election. Minoa deputy mayor Bill Brazill said the board has already began taking the necessary steps to make sure the village isn’t violating residents’ first amendment rights.

“I told our attorney that we should look into what the town has done and see what we need to do next to make sure that we address anything else that pertains to first amendment rights,” Brazill said. “Once the town has gone through and done what they’ve done, we will probably follow suit. But we want to make sure we cover all the bases before we make a decision.”

Brazill added that Minoa generally tries to make its laws consistent with the town of Manlius, but that the board has an extra incentive to make sure the rules are set in stone before the village’s upcoming elections in March. He hopes that the village attorney will have some suggestions as to what the next step should be at the board’s Oct. 7 meeting.

Manlius Republican Committee chairman and former Manlius supervisor Hank Chapman said he’s not surprised that municipalities are viewing Manlius’ decision as an opportunity to evaluate their own rules and regulations for political lawn signs.

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