SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — To some in Smithtown, it may seem trite: the arrangement of elected officials’ names and the size of the lettering on signs.
Smithtown Councilman Ed Wehrheim discoverd signs advertising town concerts at a beach and in a park shrunk both his name and the name of Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo and moved them to the bottom row.
Wehrheim told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan he believes the original signs were manipulated.
“The names were not in the proper order, which is protocol for Smithtown,” he said.
So Wehrheim asked his staff for new ones.
The signs were reprinted with a larger font. Two laborers from the Parks, Buildings and Grounds Department replaced them at taxpayer expense — roughly $500.
“There’s so much that needs to be done for improvement,” said taxpayer Richard Smith. “Why spend it that way? Funds are limited.”
“Why are we going to waste more money to redo something that doesn’t need to be done?” asked Laura Lynn Giovanni, of Smithtown.
But Inzerillo told CBS2 via text, “Constituents contacted me saying they felt the altered signs were a dig, an insult, and rude … and were prepared to boycott.”
Werheim agreed that it was unfair that taxpayers had to pay to have the signs reprinted, but added, “The problem is the mistake never should have been made in the first place.”
Councilman Tom McCarthy was bothered to learn of the redo and said the entire council needed to approve it. He said he will introduce a resolution stating that no elected officials’ names would be placed on such signs in the future.
Even Patrick Vecchio, the veteran town supervisor, weighed in.
“I can sum it up in 3 P’s,” he said. “Petty, petulant and picayune.”
Town councilmembers are up for re-election this year and face a GOP primary Tuesday.