With five months to go before the municipal elections in April, the first allegation of a campaign violation has surfaced.
Commissioner Patrick Doolin e-mailed the village’s code enforcement office regarding a sign posted on the outside of a Madison Street business supporting Mayor Anthony Calderone’s campaign for re-election. Local ordinances prohibit the display of campaign signs until 30 days prior to an election.
Doolin has announced he will run for mayor in hopes of unseating the incumbent Calderone, who has held the office since 1999.
“We are, and this is, a village and a country of laws,” Doolin said.
Perhaps ratcheting the tension on the issue is the location of the sign. Entrepreneurs Jim and Kathy Shaw, owners of Doc Ryan’s, are guilty of the infraction, Doolin said.
Shaw filed a suit against Doolin in May alleging the village commissioner acted inappropriately when he requested a police investigation into Shaw’s behavior following a council meeting in July 2005. Shaw was arrested as a result of the inquiry, however, the charges were dropped in October 2005.
“Jim Shaw, he’s just obnoxious,” Doolin said. “He’s an obnoxious individual.”
Shaw has also filed suit against two officers involved in the arrest and the police chief is seeking the village’s approval to terminate the lead investigator in the case.
Kathy Shaw said she and her husband picked the sign up at a recent campaign fund-raiser for Calderone and posted the sign of their own volition. The couple was not aware of the ordinance restricting campaign signs, Kathy Shaw said, and will do whatever is necessary to comply.
“We’ll check the ordinance,” Kathy Shaw said.
Doolin said he first noticed the sign on Nov. 20, and said nothing for several days. On Nov. 22 he forwarded his concerns to Michael Boyle, director of the Department of Public Health and Safety.
In an e-mailed response from Boyle copied to the Review, Boyle said he would look into the matter.
Calderone said the sign was likely one of the leftovers from his 1999 campaign that was distributed at the fund-raiser. The mayor said he has not printed any new signs for the coming election and has instructed no one to post such material.
“I was not aware that sign was up,” Calderone said.
Doolin suggested that if a sign expressing support for his campaign were posted, the village would be much quicker to enforce the ordinance. He questioned why the campaign material was allowed to remain on display for as long as it did.
Calderone denied using his authority as mayor to relax the village’s enforcement.
“It sounds like a bunch of BS to me,” Calderone said.