Signs are to sway public opinion through fear mongering

To the Editor:

A recent issue before the New Scotland Town Board involved the use of illuminated digital signs for businesses. The case in point is a proposed LED [light-emitting diode] type sign, which I liken to a large TV screen that allows the business owner to advertise daily specials, special events, etc.

The business that applied for this type of sign is the new Italian restaurant named Track 32 in Feura Bush.

The ethics issue I see is that an appointed zoning board member, Edith Abrams, seems to have taken it upon herself to sway public opinion through a bit of fear mongering. Her residence is located on Route 85A across from the former Bender Melon Farm.

For weeks now, a sign depicting Las Vegas-type flashing neon signs has been attached to a tree in front of her residence. By the timing and the issue before the zoning board, she likens the LED-type sign which was proposed and allows changing of information to a flashing sign.

Prior to the town board meeting this past week, election-style lawn signs appeared across from the Hannaford in Voorheesville and elsewhere in town with the same information. While I do not know who placed them, they had the same images that are on the Abrams sign in her front yard.

I do not think that such an ardent crusader should ethically be allowed to vote on issues before the town since such preconceived notions allow emotion and personal feelings to direct public policy. Ms. Abrams’s own letter to the Enterprise editor published on Oct. 12, 2017, states “…boards are supposed to be independent and are not supposed to predetermine outcomes that come before them.”

Ironically, that is exactly what she did on this issue. Her signs speak for themselves.

The town needs people in these positions to have a rational thought process so that the town is not labeled as frivolous when it comes to the regulations that impede the normal functioning of businesses.

I am also sending a copy of this letter to the state comptroller for his examination of this ethics issue.

Bill Kerr

Voorheesville

Editor’s note: Edith Abrams is a member of New Scotland’s zoning board, which voted on Sept. 26 to approve two variances for the Track 32 sign, on its placement and size. The town board held a public hearing and adopted a law on electronic signs on Oct. 11.

Abrams says her signs, posted on a number of town issues over the years, are to inspire public participation.

Bill Kerr said his life companion is Craig Shufelt’s mother.

See related story.

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