Campaign Signs: ‘Candidates should pick up after themselves’

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Dear Editor:

My name is Emma Cahoon. I am a 7th grader at Hillside Middle School, and I have lived in Manchester my entire life. I am writing to you because I would like to bring attention to the campaign signs, especially at Derryfield Park and around my school building.

IMG_4353[On Friday] I was taking a walk around Hillside, and I couldn’t help but notice the number of signs down and blown all over. I found crumpled signs and some that had blown away. That is our school’s front yard, and I think the signs make it look trashed.

Derryfield is a beautiful park, and whenever people drive by it, they can’t help but notice the signs everywhere. Today specifically, I noticed six crumpled, littered signs in one spot (right outside a side door of Hillside.)

Candidates, your signs are in the way. Every day when I am dropped off at school, my dad pulls over right up against the grass across the street from the school. Before the election, I just walked right over to the crosswalk. Now, I have to climb up quite inconveniently to get to the same spot.

Now that the election is over, candidates please come and pick up your signs. It is important for any adult to set an example for us children, and if we pick up after ourselves, you should too. Whether you won or lost, the election is over. Even though we are not old enough to vote yet, we are affected greatly by these elections, too.IMG_4354

I hope that writing to you brings this issue to people’s attention. Sometimes it is helpful to look at things through someone else’s perspective, especially a student’s. It would be nice to have a beautiful fall and winter, with the signs and litter out of sight.

Emma Cahoon
Hillside Middle School Student

Editor’s Note: We thank Emma for this thoughtful letter. We also wanted to see the signs she was talking about, which led to the above video footage, shot Sunday afternoon, Nov. 9. Emma’s right – there are plenty of signs from candidates on all sides of the political spectrum, from local to statewide races, some of them rolling up the hill like tumbleweeds, leaving behind the dangerous, wire skeletal remains jutting out of the ground, easy to miss and certainly capable of hurting someone if they should stumble over them. We hope this is taken care of soon, Emma.
About Carol Robidoux 5600 Articles

Journalist and editor of, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.

  • nhthinker

    Video shows about 40 Shea-Porter/Shaheen signs and one Scott Brown sign, yet the article and the pictures chosen seem to indicate this is a balanced problem. It’s well known that schools tend to have a preponderance of Democratic signs. Why would lazy campaign workers put so many signs in one place anyway? Wasteful and blight-full and should not even be tolerated prior to the election and certainly not after it.

    • The video was just one small stretch. Believe me, there were also Walt Havenstein signs, Brown signs, and a few Guinta signs. The dueling Shaheen/Brown sign photos were meant for balance. Otherwise, someone would complain that one was pictured and not the other. Pretty sure you can find a sign for every candidate lingering out there, NHThinker. But thanks so much for taking the time to comment. We will continue to go for balance whenever humanly possible!

      • nhthinker

        Yes, every candidate should pick up their own signs. But you seem to ignore the comment on the video that the vast majority of signs were for the Democratic candidates and they were placed in a very overloaded fashion. Fields of the same signs repeated like rows of corn are classless, environmentally unfriendly and a serious eyesore both during and after the election. Repeating the same sign more than once per 100 yards should be illegal unless you own the property or have explicit permission from the property owner. And no property owner in their right mind should give permission for such a waste and certainly such an overload should not be allowed on public property.

        • I’m no expert on regulations, but there are strict rules for placing and removing signs in NH, which you can find here: Spacing and volume of signs is not addressed specifically. If you are suggesting Dems are more guilty of post-Election sign neglect than Republicans, you’d have to drive around and assess the city as a whole. I am not going to make that call based on an unscientific walk-by at Hillside. I was just checking out the claim by the letter writer, which I found to be true, and added the supporting video/photos. Thanks, again, for the follow-up.

          • nhthinker

            The “strict” rules are laid out in – however, the law only lists penalties for removing signs- not placing signs in illegal fashion- the law states that placing signs on public property is illegal. I would expect both Derryfield Park and the Hillside Middle School qualify as public property. The law states that public employees are responsible for removing signs from public property. An improvement to the law would be to state significant penalties for campaign workers placing signs illegally on public property.

  • MichaelCNH

    Here’s a concept: instead of the losers going out and picking up their signs, let’s mandate that the WINNERS spend at least the first 48 hours following their victories going out and picking up signs, and demonstrating to their electorate just how serious they are about actually serving those who elected them to their offices. A bit of sweat equity following an election would be just the thing to show the electorate that our representatives aren’t afraid of the real work that’s necessary once they attain the office they seek.

  • nhthinker

    Campaign workers should be trained in the law. No signs on public property. I think placing signs illegally shall be considered violation of litter law… … 163-B:5 Prima Facie Evidence. –

    Evidence that litter is thrown, deposited, dropped or dumped from any
    motor vehicle, boat, airplane or other conveyance in violation of RSA
    163-B:3, shall be prima facie evidence that the operator of said
    conveyance shall have violated this chapter and the license to operate
    such a conveyance issued to any person convicted hereunder may be
    suspended for a period not to exceed 7 days together with, or in lieu
    of, penalties provided in RSA 163-B:4.

    The risk of losing use of a car for 7 days would likely prevent most infractions around public parks and schools.

    One also was to wonder why public employees in charge of lawn care would let such an overload of campaign signs illegally stay up on public property. Administrators of public property should be informed of the law and not condone such misuse of public property in their care.