“Every year we have them left on the shoreline near the lake with many ending up in Deal Lake, which just adds to the pollution.”
– Deal Lake Commission Chairman Don Brockel
By DON STINE
The Nov. 3 general election has been over for 20 days but roadside election signs for political candidates remain a clean-up problem, especially along areas of Deal Lake.
“Every year we have them left on the shoreline near the lake with many ending up in Deal Lake, which just adds to the pollution,” Deal Lake Commission Chairman Don Brockel said.
Brockel said during a follow-up cleanup of the lake by local Boy Scouts over the weekend, lots of election signs were found at the western end of Asbury Avenue, near the Hollow Brook section of the lake. Neptune, Asbury Park and Ocean Township border this area.
“Some are found in the woods or in the lake, probably blown there by high winds. They are all over the place,” he said.
Brockel said whatever the process is for removing election signs “doesn’t seem to be working.”
He said the campaign signs recently found are for various local candidates in both Asbury Park and Neptune. He added that none were for county, state, or national candidates.
State law requires that such political campaign signs can be placed on private property only.
“Notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, a person shall not install, post, or in any manner display on public property owned or maintained by a municipal, county, or state government entity any advertisement, sign or printed inducement that urges the public to vote in favor or against a candidate for nomination or election to public office, features the name of a candidate seeking nomination or election to a public office, or calls on the public to vote in favor or against a State, county, municipal or school district public question in an election,” a New Jersey state law reads.
“They should be pulling their signs out and removing them instead of us finding them in the lake. Every year we find them at strategic locations near the lake, particularly near major road intersections,” Brockel said.
Brockel said he would like to see the law enforcing the placement of signed better enforced.
“It’s a real problem and I would rather not see any signs near the lake and other waterways. And high winds are also a real problem so I would prefer they not be put near lakes. It’s an annual problem but it seems worse this year,” he said.