Vandals scratch political graffiti into wall at Town Hall
Political graffiti — some of it obscene — was scratched into the stone atop the brick wall in front of Town Hall over the weekend, and vandalism has also been reported to a political sign on Peaceable Street.
“It’s already been addressed, removed,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said Monday morning, Oct. 5, of the graffiti on the Towh Hall wall.
”It was shown to me yesterday, Sunday. And it was the bluestone cap that we put on the top of the brick wall in front of the Town Hall. Someone took a stone or something hard and just etched on the stone.”
One of the messages was “Trump 2020” and another combined his opponent Joe Biden’s name with a common obscene expression.
“It was very superficial,” Marconi said of the scratchings into the bluestone. “Who knows who did it?”
The other vandalism reported to The Press on Monday was on Peaceable Street, where a “Black Lives Matter” sign had the word “Black” spray-painted over in white.
That was pointed out by Rabbi David Reiner, whose Temple Shir Shalom is about a half mile down the road.
“It is a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign with the word ‘Black’ obscured on both sides,” Reiner said in an email Monday. “It looks like white spray paint and looked relatively fresh, though I have not been by for a few days...”
The sign is in front of a private residence.
“To be clear, I was not reacting to the proximity to the synagogue,” Rabbi Reiner said.
The town committees of both parties have been reporting widespread theft of and some vandalism to political lawn signs.
Democratic Town Committee Chairman Joe Shapiro described the discovery of the scratched graffiti in front of the Town Hall, where the Democrats had a tent up Saturday and Sunday.
“It was really terrible to see,” he said. “I was there at Town Hall when we took down our tent at the end of the day Saturday, and everything was fine.
“Then, I was there Sunday morning to help set up our tent at Town Hall. We were greeted Sunday morning by the pro-Trump and anti-Biden (four-letter) vandalism…
“So it was widely known, on Saturday, that the Democratic Party's tent that was there on Saturday, Oct. 3, would reappear on Sunday, Oct. 4,” Shapiro said. “That graffiti was clearly envisioned to greet the Democrats at the tent on Sunday, and also to greet all the visitors to our tent throughout the day Sunday...
“It's entirely out-of-bounds for Ridgefied,” Shapiro said, “and, for goodness sake, it’s our community’s Town Hall!”
With “the equivalent time rule,” Marconi said, both parties have been given permission to have a tent in front of town hall over different weekends leading up to the election. The first selectman said before granting permission for the parties to use the lcaotin, he’d checked with state elelction officials that using the location didn’t violate state law about election publicity within 75 feet of a polling place — since Town Hall is used for absentee balloting.
Marconi was philosophical about the vandalism.
“It should not have taken place,” he said. “But for the grace of God we are not confronted with spray-paint or anything being broken.”