City Councilmember Simcha Felder is putting yeshivas, churches, mosques, meeting halls and every other kind of religious institution on notice: “Even if you’re selling God,” you don’t have a right to put up illegal posters.
Felder has been touring community boards in his district warning everyone and anyone that there is “no excuse” for papering walls and lampposts with advertisements and there will be “no mercy” in prosecuting those responsible.
“If your name is on the poster be prepared to pay the fine,” Felder said. “No one is excused.”
That, of course, includes elected officials like Felder himself. The Department of Sanitation says that it has issued 15,000 summonses to “various people running for office.”
In addressing both Community Board 11 and 14 recently, Felder sheepishly admitted, “I have a few violations that I’m working on.”
The penalty for each illegal post is $75.
“Close to the election, people plaster the place with posters.” said Felder, who has represented Borough Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst in the City Council since 2002.
High atop the illegal posting most “wanted list,” however, are advertisements for cheap movers.
“If you can catch the $17 moving guy I’ll give you a parade,” Community Board 11 Chair Bill Guarinello quipped.
Unfortunately, prosecuting those responsible for such advertisements has proven to be exceedingly difficult for authorities.
Even after joint sting operations between the Department of Sanitation and the State Department of Transportation, violators continue to find ways to wriggle free of prosecution. Some use pre−paid cell phones that can’t be traced, set up phony companies that are easily disavowed or employ fleet−footed minors that can evade capture.
Guarinello has urged his neighbors to “adopt a block” in their community and tear down illegal postings on their own.
The Department of Sanitation says they’ll even help in the effort.
In the meantime, Felder is pressing his “zero tolerance” campaign.
©2009 Community News Group
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