Anti-selectmen signs disputed before town elections

February 26, 2018 GMT

GILMANTON, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire town building inspector has asked property owners to take down signs suggesting selectmen don’t support the police, saying the messages appear to violate an ordinance against political signs.

The American Civil Liberties Union in New Hampshire says the request violates the First Amendment and asked the town Monday to retract it.

The signs say, “We support Gilmanton Police Even if the Selectmen Don’t.” The ACLU says property owners — including the police chief’s own mother — received letters in advance of the March 13 elections for selectmen and other offices.

Building Inspector Bill Tobin says the signs aren’t in compliance with an ordinance that allows only signs advertising a business or industry.

An attorney for the town says she just received the ACLU request and hasn’t had a chance to discuss it with officials.