, Derry, New Hampshire

October 25, 2012

Sign ordinance comes into question again

Ordinance isn't strictly enforced

By James Niedzinski
Derry News

---- — LONDONDERRY — Since 2005, Al Cardello has had a sign for Complete Auto Driving School posted outside the Lions Club on Mammoth Road. No one has had a problem with it — until now.

Cardello said an anonymous tipster called building inspector Richard Canuel to complain about the sign.

Canuel then informed Cardello he had to take his sign down, so the driving school instructor approached the Town Council over the issue.

Although the town ordinance does have specific guidelines and regulations for signs, Cardello has not had any complaints about the sign before.

“It was the first complaint about the sign I’ve ever got,” he said.

While Cardello did admit he had not gotten a permit for the small black-and-yellow sign, he pointed out it has not been considered a problem by the Town Council or other town officials in the past.

“I see no real issue here,” Councilor Jim Butler said.

There was some deliberation about whether the sign should remain, considering it has been there for such a long time already.

Town officials were just enforcing town ordinance, acting Town Manager William Hart said.

Councilor Joseph Green echoed Hart’s words, stating there is a certain procedure in place and it is meant to be followed.

There was some concern the move could set a precedent for future businesses who wish to put signs there, council vice chairman Tom Dolan said.

Cardello questioned how the ordinance is being enforced.

“Why am I being singled out?” he said. “There is a Red Cross sign there during blood drives and a sign for Tae-Kwon Do.”

Cardello’s sign will be allowed to stay.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s earning a living and taking care of his family,” Council Chairman John Farrell said. “I support that.”