Skip to comments.Latest Roseland flap: Yard signs Residents get warnings, tickets; claim free speech rights violated
Posted on 08/05/2005 10:58:47 PM PDT by freepatriot32
ROSELAND -- Battles over zoning and permits appear to be a common problem lately in the small town of Roseland.
But residents now have a complaint that's not just about small town ordinances. It's about the nation's Constitution and its First Amendment, freedom of speech.
This week, some residents have pitched signs in their yards, urging the two married members of the three-person Town Council, David and Dorothy Snyder, to resign.
In return, residents have received warnings or tickets from the town, telling them they are breaking the law.
"We don't have freedom of speech. We can't say what we want to say," said Betty Scofield, who got a warning for displaying a sign on her Murray Street property.
"I received these a little after 9 o'clock this morning," said Scofield's neighbor Mike Schalk, waving the two tickets he received Monday.
Schalk had a spray-painted sign sitting on his pickup truck that read, "Snyders resign."
On his lawn was a professionally made yard sign, the type you'd see during election season. But instead of endorsing a candidate, the message said, "Take back Roseland" on one side and "Snyders resign" on the other.
Schalk considers the signs to be no different that political signs.
"They're saying I didn't get a permit. ... It's a public information sign that doesn't require a permit," Schalk said.
David Snyder said he doesn't consider the signs political because no one is running for office. He said anyone who wants to put a temporary sign in their yard must first apply for a permit. David Snyder is in charge of granting those permits.
Discontent among residents has been mounting for months as many are convinced the Snyders unfairly control the town. It came to a head last week.
On July 20, the Snyders elected Dorothy president, ousting council member Charley Shields from the job. Many residents claim it was an illegal election because a president is supposed to be chosen in January. The meeting included residents yelling at the Snyders and Dorothy Snyder yelling back.
The next night's council meeting was met with as much enthusiasm, and police removed four people from the town hall.
Schalk, who has lived in Roseland since 1996, says he's a vocal critic of the Snyders. He figures that's why he got tickets while his neighbors got warnings.
"I think it just goes along with the long line of harassment the Snyders have been giving me," Schalk said.
South Bend attorney Pete Agostino expressed his opinion that the signs are protected as free speech.
"It's fundamental to allow freedom of expression of ideas. That's basic to our society, and when you start punishing people for exercising their free speech it does have a chilling effect," Agostino said.
Schalk said Monday he planned to leave his signs up and add a few more.
Dustin Grove appears on WSBT-TV
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sounds like an elected HOA from heck =o)
First ammendment to me. Screw the local ordinance. The fines will not stand.
An HOA? I prefer the term "yard nazi" myself.
These people in this article are actually elected but are acting like an HOA
Who knows what's going on there? Oregonians in general don't know anything but the liberal way. Oregon is a cesspool of liberalism, actually, (Portland won't accept federal assistance in Homeland Security issues, because the mayor can't tell the feds what to do, so it's his way or...) so perhaps this fracas in Roseland is about liberals fighting with liberals. 8-D If so, may they all lose!
this is roseland indiana right next to south bend not roseland oregon
The Snyder's would have made wonderful commissars in Stalin's paradise....
Our local City Council has pulled some bonehead moves, and our local group and Blog has actually won a couple of small skirmishes with them. Give me a Council as double stomped stupid as the Snyders, I'd OWN city gov't in two years' time.
Incredibly bad move. If some ordinance is in place, David should have smiled and issued the permit. If the folks never applied, instead of tickets, they should have had David's smiling face at their doorstep, permit in hand, to personally explain the applicable sign ordinance, adding that council was going to see about changing that restriction. There were so many ways available to defuse this nonsense, even possibly turn it into a political positive, the fact that the Snyders did not use them is evidence sufficient that they do need to be run out of gov't at any level.
i havent been able to confirm this or not but i heard that the snyders had a disabled war vet escorted out of the last counsil meeting by the police becasue they didnt like they way he was looking at them and they thought he MIGHT disrupt the meeting.
This is unfreakin-believable! These Snyder's are an example of how power can corrupt and destroy brain cells. Of course in this case the 'cells' may have been in decline prior to obtaining power. David Snyder says something about the signs not being for an election??? Who cares!!! Maybe the signs can be a precursor for a recall election! I'll put any sign I want to on my property! Of course, I wouldn't put up porn or an anti-American statement, but I personally wouldn't care if someone did - I'd just think they were an idiot. It'd be nice to be able to contact the Snyder's in a snide way!
Your right about the fines not standing. Ladue Missouri was the test a few years ago with yard signs during a political campaign. Court ruled in favor free speech and private property rights in overturning the ordinance.
Do I detect some nepotism on the city council with a husband and wife named Snyder?
I heard one town resident got a ticket for his sign that read "POST NO SIGNS!".
If anyone would like to call and offer their support to Harry Qashat, the manager at the Knights Inn. This is the number.
They weren't married when they were elected, but they married after taking office. Her term is up 2007, his in 2008. There's so much more to the story as it unfolds in our little town. The snyders held an election to remove the third council member from being president and elected Mrs. Snyder to president. The Howard Johnson wanted to repair their sign that was damaged more than a year ago in a storm, but the Snyders won't issue the permit. A lady bought a hair salon, but the Snyders won't issue her a permit to paint over the existing sign with the new business name. It goes on and on... Last night, Mrs. Snyder took it upon herself to remove a "support Our Troops" sign from the Veterans Park because it shouldn't have been there. The police found it in her trunk. The Snyders continue to throw people out of the public meetings. The next elections cannot come soon enough. If you go to www.wndu.com and put in the name ROSELAND in the search field, it will pull up several years worth of articles pertaining to the now infamous SNYDERVILLE.