LI town deletes politicians' names from signage

- County and town signs with the names of elected officials are nothing more than self-promotion by politicians, according to new Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, who replaced more than 100 signs in the town.

"It wastes money every time there's a change in an elected official—you have to replace the signs or at least repaint the signs," Gillen said. "So we made a decision to take all of the politicians' names off."

Now generic signs read "Welcome to Your Town of Hempstead." They no longer have the names of the supervisor or board members. Gillen said this is a one-time cost of $4,600 instead of spending $3,000 every time signs needed to be updated.

The Town of Hempstead is repurposing the old signs for puppy play equipment and fixing sheds.

Knowing who your local officials are why Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone decided to leave the signs as is. He said they're intended to serve for the purposes of general information and public safety.

However, newly installed Nassau County Executive Laura Curran disagrees. She said the cost of branding is an "astronomical waste of taxpayer money."

Political analyst Larry Levy called it the latest political trend.

"The amount of money saved is minuscule," Levy said. "What's really important is how they perform, what the quality of the park is or the public work that's getting advertised."

The Town of Oyster Bay still has the names of elected officials. The Town of Smithtown is in the process of removing them.

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