Tit for tat in C’dale sign-swiping | PostIndependent.com
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Tit for tat in C’dale sign-swiping

Consider it a sign of the times in Carbondale.

The campaign over the Crystal River Marketplace has heated up to the point where neither friends nor foes of the project can keep political signs in their yards.

Foes reported to police Monday morning that between 20 and 30 signs expressing opposition to the project were stolen from yards the prior night.



But that was proceeded earlier in the weekend by the theft of numerous signs and banners urging residents to vote “yes” for the project, according to Eric Gross, a Carbondale attorney for the developer. Those signs were taken out of yards or off the private property of businesses.

Signs started disappearing Friday night, he said, and the thefts continued Monday night. One person had six or seven signs taken, he said.



Pro-Marketplace banners, which cost hundreds of dollars, have even been snatched off third-story exteriors of buildings on Main Street, according to Gross.

Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling said his office has taken reports of thefts of between 30 and 35 signs and banners in support of the project.

“My opinion is this is pretty childish behavior for people to be participating in,” said Schilling.

If the thieves are caught, they could be charged with criminal mischief. But they need to be caught in the act, he said.

Gross said it’s possible all the sign thefts were just “mischief.” Hopefully it isn’t adults undertaking political chicanery, he said.

“To me this is just sort of unfortunate,” Gross said. “Let people express their views.” He said he has no idea who is tearing down the signs urging “no” votes on the project.

The campaign over the Marketplace is heading into the home stretch. Election day is Tuesday, July 15. Early voting starts Thursday.

Voters will determine if the Town Council’s approval of the 255,000-square-foot retail project should be upheld. The plan includes a big box retail site of 125,000 square feet.

Supporters say the project will add shopping opportunities and much-needed sales tax revenues to town coffers. Opponents claim it will destroy the town’s character and small-town scale.

Both sides have set up information centers in vacant storefronts on Main Street in Carbondale. The developer opened a “Preview Center” three weeks with drawings of the project. An opposition group called the Carbondale Town Mothers opened their own place Tuesday.

Schilling said the criminal mischief in the campaign has been limited so far to tearing down signs and banners. He doesn’t know what to expect.

“As things go on, it’s going to get more heated,” Schilling said.

Contact Scott Condon: 925-3414

scondon@aspentimes.com


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