Apology for Political Sign Misuse
This letter is in regards to my ignorant mistake in the gathering and misuse of political signs last week and hope to broaden an understanding around the situation. My intent was never political; rather it was to reuse what I thought was an available resource.
I would first like to apologize to the Northern Grafton County Republicans, especially those whose signs and names I posted on our Instagram page. I have personally spoken and apologized to David Starr, Dennis Wagner and Linda Lauer and have left messages or emails with others, including Doug Dutile and Joe Kenney. I would also like to apologize to others in New Hampshire and the United States who feel affronted by my actions. It was never my intent to turn what I though was a reuse of resources into a political statement, and I am sorry for the emotions and anger felt by some because of my mistakes.
My first mistake was not doing my due diligence in completely understanding the laws surrounding political signs. I know that it is illegal to take political signs before an election, but I thought that once polls close those signs usually end up in the garbage and are free for the taking. I now know that it is illegal to take any signs not on your property for 14 days after Election day. Again it was completely my fault that I did not fully understand the law.
My reasons for taking the signs had absolutely no political intentions other than that type of sign (ridged plastic as opposed to the plastic bag type sign) is perfect for cutting down drafts in our greenhouses. We have been using those types of signs as they are occasionally donated to us by local businesses when they are no longer useful. We cut them lengthwise to stretch their usefulness down the side of the greenhouse.
After we had installed some of them, I thought it would be clever to do an Instagram post, not fully realizing that all the signs on that corner of the greenhouse with the potted plants were from local Republicans. That was in no way intentional and had more to do with how and where they were collected, as signs from the same party tend to be grouped together. Regardless, as the picture below demonstrates, I gathered plenty of Democratic signs with my only goal being the reuse of the rigid plastic. The order in how and where they went up received no thought, other than “did it fill the gap?” The post went up Friday late morning and on Saturday morning my mistake was brought to our attention by Dennis Wagner, and we immediately removed the post. He did have a conversation with a farm employee on Saturday, and they came to a mutual understanding about the situation. We have offered to replace the cost of the signs, but Mr. Wagner suggested a donation instead to the Bethlehem Fire Department to which we whole-heartedly agreed. We have since donated $300 to the Bethlehem Fire Department and $200 to the N. Grafton County Republicans.
I would again like to apologize to all who feel affronted and anger toward my misuse of political signs. 100% of my intentions were to reuse what I thought was an available and destined-for-the-trash resource. I take complete responsibility for not fully understanding the law surrounding political signs. If anybody has any further questions or would like to connect with me personally, please email or call the farm.