By: John MacKenzie, Staff Reporter
ROCKLAND — A 75-year-old Rockland, Maine woman told local authorities she is willing go to jail rather than follow a city ordinance to remove signs supporting President Donald Trump.
Susan Reitman of Seavey Lane has been directed to remove the pro-Trump signs because they exceed the size of signs allowed on residential properties, according to Rockland Assistant Code Enforcement Officer William Butler.
Mr. Butler said the content of the signs has nothing to do with the directive.
“I admire your passion for our president. Truly, I do. However, we have received a complaint and I have to do my due diligence and I have determined your signs are not in compliance with the Rockland Code. It is your business what you put on the signs. It is the city’s business regarding the size and number of signs,” Butler stated in his Sept. 18 email to Reitman.
The city’s sign ordinance limits residences to one sign attached to a structure of no more than two square feet or one free-standing sign of no more than four square feet.
She pointed out that the assistant code officer had been on her property earlier this month about a request she had to add a fence and she was not told the signs were in violation at that time.
Butler said he received an email complaint from a resident and that he was obligated to respond. He declined to release the name of the person complaining, but said it would be released if a formal Freedom of Access request was made.
Reitman said she would not remove the signs, despite the warning from the city.
“They can put me in jail. I won’t take them down,” Reitman said.
According to Rockland city ordinances Mrs. Reitman could potentially be fined between $100 and $1,000 per day for violations.
Reitman said she will also refuse to pay any fine and that the city can place liens on her property if it wants to.
“I have the right to support our president. This is about freedom of speech,” she said.
Rockland, Maine was recently in the news as its City Council approved a resolve that turned Rockland into a “Sanctuary City”.
Pictures: Stephen Betts