Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Local News

Branford Dems Concerned by Political Sign Vandalism in Short Beach

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Among about two dozen Democratic political signs defaced was this large poster on display outside a Shore Drive home.

Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee

Among about two dozen Democratic political signs defaced was this large poster on display outside a Shore Drive home. Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee)

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Lawn signs with images of incumbent Democratic candidate for Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks (shown here) and Democratic candidate for Town Clerk Eileen Poulton Cimino (next photo) were vandalized.

Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee

Lawn signs with images of incumbent Democratic candidate for Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks (shown here) and Democratic candidate for Town Clerk Eileen Poulton Cimino (next photo) were vandalized. Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee)

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Lawn signs with images of Democratic candidate for Town Clerk Eileen Poulton Cimino (shown here) and Democratic incumbent candidate for Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks (next photo) were vandalized.

Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee

Lawn signs with images of Democratic candidate for Town Clerk Eileen Poulton Cimino (shown here) and Democratic incumbent candidate for Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks (next photo) were vandalized. Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee)

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Lawn signs with images of incumbent Democratic candidate for Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks (shown here) and Democratic candidate for Town Clerk Eileen Poulton Cimino were vandalized.

Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee

Lawn signs with images of incumbent Democratic candidate for Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks (shown here) and Democratic candidate for Town Clerk Eileen Poulton Cimino were vandalized. Image from Branford Democratic Town Committee)

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All of of the vandalized signs, which numbered about two dozen, have been removed, including a large poster on Shore Drive where a smaller lawn sign has now been inserted. Cimino said she hopes to replace the sign.

Pam Johnson/The Sound

All of of the vandalized signs, which numbered about two dozen, have been removed, including a large poster on Shore Drive where a smaller lawn sign has now been inserted. Cimino said she hopes to replace the sign. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

Short Beach area vandalism to several political signs, including those with images of two Democratic candidates, has drawn concern from the Branford Democratic Town Committee (DTC) and the candidates, who called for "civility" and "respect" in an Oct. 13 press release issued by DTC chair Kevin Coughlin.

Coughlin told Zip06/The Sound he first learned on Sunday, Oct. 10 that about two dozen Democratic political signs had been damaged with red paint in Short Beach. The majority of the defaced signs were small lawn signs with photo images of incumbent Tax Collector Roberta Gill-Brooks and Town Clerk candidate Eileen Poulton Cimino. Coughlin said a couple of lawn signs printed with the names of two Short Beach/District 3 Democratic RTM candidates were also damaged by red paint. The District 3 Democratic RTM candidates are Adrian Bonenberger and incumbent Linda Erlanger.

All of the damaged signs were removed. On Shore Drive, a large poster with a portrait of Poulton Cimino was also defaced with red paint and has been removed.

Images provided with the DTC press release showed some of the signs which were defaced, together with descriptions sharing that "...signs of Gill-Brooks were vandalized with red paint over the name and face of the incumbent Tax Collector. One such sign included a red arrow drawn through the head of Gill-Brooks.  Signs of Poulton Ciminio were also vandalized with the same red paint over the name and face of the Democratic candidate for Town Clerk. One such sign was a large 4-foot by 4-foot sign on Shore Drive."

To date, political lawn signs with Gill-Brooks and Cimino's images have been posted in many areas of town with no similar damage; and no damage has been reported to campaign signs featuring a photo of Democratic First Selectman Tom Brockett. Brockett, Gill-Brooks and Cimino are the only Democratic candidates who have campaign signs with photo images, Coughlin confirmed.

In a statement issued in the press release, Coughlin said, "Branford Democrats are lucky to have two strong, unflappable women running town wide to build a better Branford. We hope everyone can resist the urge to resort to these kinds of actions moving forward."

Gill-Brooks and Cimino also issued the following statements in the press release:

"This close to an election people's emotions can get the best of them but I know Branford is better than this," said Gill-Brooks. "Please let's show each other the civility and kindness that makes Branford such a wonderful community to live in."

"Having grown up in Branford, it was disappointing to see this vandalism," said Poulton Cimino. "We can disagree but we should always respect one another. It will be costly but I will replace the signs and continue my campaign with a smile."





Pam Johnson covers news for Branford and North Branford for Zip06. Email Pam at p.johnson@shorepublishing.com.

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