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Fort Lee GOP Council Candidate Calls on Opponents Not to Use Signs

Thomas A. Bennett, who’s running with Peter B. “Mack” Campbell against incumbents Harvey Sohmer and Joseph Cervieri, says campaign signs tarnish the landscape and don’t get candidates elected anyway.

One of the two Republican candidates for Fort Lee Borough Council announced recently that he would not be putting up any political advertising signs, and he also called upon his Democratic opponents to follow suit.

“I am not a big believer of decorating the landscape with graffiti,” said Thomas A. Bennett in a statement. “I remember seeing Route 4 with signs from Fort Lee to Fair Lawn, NJ, and it looked horrible.”

Contending that the signs are a waste of money and pointing out that some people and business owners are “bullied” into putting signs up and that the borough’s sign and façade and beautification committees are likely to find the signs “unattractive,” Bennett said simply, “Signs don’t get you elected; that’s my philosophy.”

“I’m not trying to stop anybody’s First Amendment rights,” Bennett told Patch. “I’d just like them to momentarily not put up signs because they’re so ugly.”

He added, “[The Democrats] have been in office for 17 years. They don’t need signs to get elected if people want to elect them.”

Bennett said his running mate, Peter B. “Mack” Campbell, who has assured him that he’s “totally committed to running and getting elected” in spite of questions early on as to , is joining him in not putting up campaign signage.

Asked how he does plan to win the election in November without using signs, Bennett said “by meeting people” and attending candidates’ debates, such as the one on Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at .

He’ll also attend as many community gatherings as possible, including the upcoming senior picnic and health fair, and stand outside the post office on Main Street on Saturdays and maybe on Sundays.

“I ask my Democratic counterparts to join me in not using political signs,” Bennett concluded in his statement. “I am sure that they will agree that the landscape will look much better without those unattractive signs.”

However Bennett’s Democratic counterparts, incumbent Councilmen Harvey Sohmer and Joseph Cervieri, said Thursday they’ve already ordered their signs, and that they’re going to use them.

“We believe that the public has a right to know who’s running, and those who do not get newspapers and do not watch TV or have access to the Internet, would see through the traditional methods who is running,” Cervieri said, noting that their lawn signs will be red, white and blue. “As such, we will continue our long tradition of having tasteful signs that will located in appropriate areas, and lawn signs will only be on lawns of people who would request them to be on their property.”

Cervieri said the Democrats won’t put signs in the public right-of-way and emphasized that they don’t put lawn signs on properties without getting permission.

Sohmer also pointed out that Fort Lee residents are going to see plenty of signs for candidates running for the Fort Lee Board of Education as well, now that that election also takes place in November.

“We put them up and take them down at the appropriate time,” Sohmer said.

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Joe Cervieri September 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Thank you Al for your response to Mr.Nelson's post concerning my service to The Atrium Palace as a member of it's Board of Directors. What Mr.Nelson also did not accurately report: The Atrium, under my direction as President of its Board enacted term limits whereby Directors were only permitted to serve for three consecutive two-year terms. My three consecutive 2 yr. terms were over and I did not nor could I run once my term expired. I did not look to change any by-laws and in fact was happy to be able to pick up some spare time after having served on the Board for over 15 years (14 as its President). If there was ANY impropriety or mishandling of my duties as a Fiduciary of my neighbor's interest at The Atrium Palace it would have been brought to my attention. It has been over three years since a new administration took over and audits were done and no improprieties were found. As an elected official, I believe it is my duty to represent All my constitients interest above my own. My professional background, as Vice-President of an Internatioal Private Bank (Bankers Trust Company) and as Vice-President and Officer in Charge of the International Advisory Department for North America of an Investment Bank (Banque Indosuez) as well as Asset Manager of a NYSE listed Real Estate Investment Trust sponsored by The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, demonstrates my proven experience as a Fiduciary. Elected officials don't expect everyone to be a supporter.
Dan Nelson September 25, 2012 at 02:01 AM
And who did the work on the library sir, and why was councilman cervieri then booted off the board shortly afterwards, and then had to move out of the building ??
Dan Nelson September 25, 2012 at 02:03 AM
What a load of bunk !!! lol
carol simon September 25, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I walked by the above sign in this article everyday on my way to work. It rather caught my eye. I thought it had some esthetic value and I liked/like the candidates. I thought it was an 'elegant' touch to display Thank You after the race was won. Always having my phone handy, I thought it an interesting subject. I enjoyed seeing the photo again and believe that signs can enhance visuals in a political race.
William Mays September 25, 2012 at 02:47 AM
I believe he replied to your nonsense.

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