All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 3 views left.  Register| Sign In

Great but illegal: A sad sign in Albany

The Conway Daily Sun tells a story from Albany that sounds like some big-city regulatory nightmare.

Carole Cotton has a little shop called Our Favorite Things. Not long ago, she posted outside the shop a blackboard on which she asked customers to complete the sentence “Before I die I want to ...”

The board was up for 32 days, in which time hundreds of people wrote their answers, the Sun reported. Then Saturday a week ago Cotton was visited by a sheriff’s deputy. On behalf of the Albany selectmen, she was served papers. They informed her that she was subject to a fine of up to $275 a day because the town considered the board a sign — one larger than the town ordinance allowed. It had to be removed immediately.

“You can’t overlook something because it’s good,” Kathy Vizard, Albany’s administrative assistant, told the Sun. “All we want is for (Cotton) to come into compliance. We don’t want to be the bad guy, but we have to be fair to everyone. I agree it’s a great sign, but it’s not legal.”

Vizard said other property owners also had illegal signs and were served papers. Cotton wanted her blackboard to be allowed as a mural, but the ordinance has no category for murals.

Selectmen encouraged Cotton to apply for a variance. She refused. She should not have to ask for special treatment. If the rules are so restrictive that they ban creativity that everyone in town enjoys, then maybe the problem is with the rules, not the creativity.

Johnny A
Saturday, 8 p.m.

Monty Python's Spamalot
Friday, 7:30 p.m.,
Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.,
Sunday, 2 p.m.

Concord Multicultural Festival
Saturday, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required

More Editorials

NH Angle