Electronic sign debate goes to voters...

Electronic sign debate goes to voters in New Ipswich

There are 26 comments on the "The nashuatelegraph.com's local, state, business and sports RSS feed" story from Feb 4, 2007, titled Electronic sign debate goes to voters in New Ipswich. In it, "The nashuatelegraph.com's local, state, business and sports RSS feed" reports that:

NEW IPSWICH The continuing debate over the electronic sign in front of the 1808 House, the offices of San-Ken Homes, has produced three petition warrant articles that support the actions of the company.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at "The nashuatelegraph.com's local, state, business and sports RSS feed".

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
The Fishercat

Pelham, NH

#1 Feb 9, 2007
The owners of SAN-KEN should be ashamed of themselves!!! They went from town bullies to poor little victims and now want the citizens of New Ipswich, NH to just 'let it go' and waste years of town boards time and citizens money because they are about to lose their case in court and they know it. The owners of SAN-KEN have already been beaten twice in the Nashua Superior Court and the probability of them winning at the state level is extremely low. The owners of SAN-Ken state they will never take the sign down, well, thats where they are wrong, and they know it.

If the owners of SAN-KEN wouldn't have been in such a rush to throw up their Electronic Message Board and try and beat the sign ordinance that disallowed such garbage in the town they would have seen that the citizens DO NOT want that type of sign in the town. Once again Lehtonens, we DO NOT want your sign in this town.

Please vote NO to all of the SAN-KEN warrant articles.
Just the Facts

Williston, VT

#2 Feb 9, 2007
The Superior Court judged ordered 1808 Corp aka SAN-KEN aka ReMAX Town Square aka Sandy and Ken Lehtonen to pay all the Attorney's Fees and Court costs for the Town and a $275 a day fine since Jan 2005 for disobeying the Cease & Desist Order. The articles they submitted are an attempt to avoid having to pay up. In the face of these fines they are still running the sign. Please vote NO to this blatant attempt to circumvent the Justice System.
NI resident

Montpelier, VT

#3 Feb 23, 2007
If there had been any attempt by KSL to work with their neighbors and the town to come to some sort of solution (like changing the hours the sign ran to stop annoying their neighbors with artificial light blaring into their homes late at night) I would be more sympathetic. In light of their refusal to make any attempt to right the solution, and their blatant attitude of being above the law, I will be voting against them and will never do business with them. They SHOULD be forced to pay hefty fines to the town and take the sign down, if indeed a court has ordered them to do so. Who do they think they are?!?
Oblio

Windham, NH

#4 Feb 28, 2007
I recall that NH DOT found no set back problems when a neighbor cited set back problems from rte 124. The Town of New Ipswich found no problems against the older loosely defined sign ordinance that was in place at the time the sign was installed. New Ipswich was not going to do anything about the sign but then came some real stinker who has nothing better to do than attack the sign owners so much that it has been his passion. Anyone not seeing this is quite blinded. Even by the site plan issue, there has been a wrongfully waged war against the sign owners that never would any minor site plan issue ever be raised against anyone!!!!!!!! I would like to see justice!
The Fishercat wrote:
The owners of SAN-KEN should be ashamed of themselves!!! They went from town bullies to poor little victims and now want the citizens of New Ipswich, NH to just 'let it go' and waste years of town boards time and citizens money because they are about to lose their case in court and they know it. The owners of SAN-KEN have already been beaten twice in the Nashua Superior Court and the probability of them winning at the state level is extremely low. The owners of SAN-Ken state they will never take the sign down, well, thats where they are wrong, and they know it.
If the owners of SAN-KEN wouldn't have been in such a rush to throw up their Electronic Message Board and try and beat the sign ordinance that disallowed such garbage in the town they would have seen that the citizens DO NOT want that type of sign in the town. Once again Lehtonens, we DO NOT want your sign in this town.
Please vote NO to all of the SAN-KEN warrant articles.
The Fishercat

Pelham, NH

#5 Mar 1, 2007
"The Town of New Ipswich found no problems against the older loosely defined sign ordinance that was in place at the time the sign was installed."

I have heard this countless times and it just cracks me up that people can be so naive. The problem in regards to that statement is that we have NO CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER in New Ipswich, once again we have NO CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER in New Ipswich. Get it? So if common Joe citizen walks by a construction site how is common Joe citizen supposed to know if what is being done conforms to the site plan or building plans etc? WE DON'T! The 1808 Corp's older sign did not turn the abutters living rooms into a multi-colored discotheque in the evening so no attention was really brought to it so at this point NOBODY knew that the old sign didn't conform to the site plan because we have NO CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. If we did have code enforcement officer the old sign WOULD HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM also. But because the new sign has negatively affected the abutters quality of life they checked into it and found that the 1808 Corps new sign did not in fact conform to the Site Plan.

I shudder to think how many other 'things' in this town are not to code, but we will probably never know until one of those 'things' effects one or more of our citizens and they call it out, much like what is happening here with the 1808 sign.

This whole situation could have been averted if:

1) The owners of the 1808 Corp would have spoken with the abutters about the sign and it's potential negative effects. Sandy Lehtonen was quoted in the Nashua Telegraph on Nov. 29, 2006 as saying "The sign was a year in the planning". So you mean to tell me that Sandy Lehtonen couldn't have taken 1 hour of time out of that year to make sure the abutters wouldn't have a problem with their living rooms being turned into a discotheque? No excuse there for that at all.

2) The owners of the 1808 Corp would have waited until AFTER the Sign Ordinance vote was completed and they would have found out early that the MAJORITY of the town does not want their kind of sign in the town. Instead, the owners of the 1808 Corp rushed to get that sign up before the Warrant Article was posted. The saddest part is that Sandy Lehtonen went to the new Sign Ordinance meetings so she KNEW that the 1808 Corps new sign would not adhere to the proposed ordinance, she KNEW IT WOULDN'T.



Just the Facts

Williston, VT

#6 Mar 2, 2007
An independent party, Superior Court Judge Arthur Brennan disagrees with you, Oblio. He found that the Town Planning board did not error in their partial revocation of the 1808 Corp site plan.
His decision and subsequent penalties against the 1808 Corp should be a wake up call to all those in Town who have been ignoring rules and regulations.
NIer

Montpelier, VT

#7 Mar 8, 2007
I was disgusted by the mailer from KSL that showed up today pushing their interests. I respect their right to do so, but found their version of the 'facts' alarming. Funny- if they are so concerned about how our tax dollars are spent and worried about the cost to the town to continue the sign issue on to a higher level of court, perhaps they should just follow what has already been ordered by the courts and take it down. Fear tactics, plain and simple, and I will be voting NO on all 3 proposals on the ballots backed by KSL.
Forestpond

Los Angeles, CA

#8 Mar 9, 2007
I'll be voting NO on all 3 "pro sign" warrant articles because I find the sign offensive but also because I think the 1808 Corp. owners are wrong on all counts. From the mailing I received from them today, it appears that their biggest complaint is that THEY have been singled out while others have not been held to the same standards. Funny but that makes me think they're certainly guilty of something. So many facts were missing from that mailing, such as the fact that the State DID admit that the sign was within the State Right-of-Way (by 6 inches if I recall correctly). Also, nothing was mentioned about WHY people weren't allowed to vote on the sign issue. Conflicts of interest are appropriate reasons for that decision. Sorry, Sandy and Ken, I'm not falling for your brand of propaganda.

I also found the letter/ad Ken wrote for the Ledger-Transcript to be very revealing. He wants construction people to be in charge of planning issues (read that: approve all development). He also wants steep slopes to be developed (says they're good for walk-out basements). What about drainage on those properties? We've been dealing with our neighbor's runoff from their sloped property for years. Nice walk-out basement their house has, by the way.

I really hope the people in this town aren't blinded by the light of that sign. It really needs to be turned off permanently.
The Fishercat

Pelham, NH

#9 Mar 10, 2007
Here's my last rebuttal to the Lehtonen's deceitful propaganda before I vote NO on article's 6, 26, and 27 this upcoming March 2007 town vote.

1) As I stated in my last post, both the OLD and NEW signs have been in the wrong location since day one according to our Planning Board, Selectmen, and a COURT OF LAW. The ONLY difference between the OLD sign and the NEW sign is that the NEW sign is disrupting a TAX PAYING CITIZENS quality of life, I don't care who that tax paying citizen is, it could be anybody in this situation, it could be YOU or ME. When the old sign was erected we DID NOT have any building inspector or code enforcement agent of any kind so who was supposed to know? So since the NEW sign has caused a disruption it was found to be NOT in complaince with the site plan. Is this the abutters fault? No, of course not, it's the Lehtonen's fault and NOBODY elses. Vote NO on Articles 6, 26, and 27.

2) The Jim Coffey debacle. I went to all the Planning Board meetings in regards to the new sign, Jim Coffey WAS NOT present at any of them, especially the early ones that were the most important. If this was SO important to him then why didn't he show up for it to begin with? So because things weren't going the Lehtonen's way he caused a HUGE stink and demanded to be allowed to vote on the issue when he wasn't even involved through most or all of the process? The court system found the whole thing to be nonsense, which of course it was. The Lehtonen's little group has been stacking the Planning Board for years; John Sawyer is backed by their group, Jim Coffey is backed by their group, Jackie Rager worked for the Lehtonen's after the sign vote (and she voted against the sign), there was only ONE person who was maybe bias towards the sign, ONE out of a possible 5 votes. The Lehtonen's lost the Planning Board vote fair and square and based on facts that were backed by a COURT OF LAW. Vote NO on Articles 6, 26, and 27.

3) The Lehtonen's NEVER even tried to be good neighbor's to the abutters, never changed the sign's hours of use, never tried to reach out the abutters, nothing. Now, since everything is going against the Lehtonen's they try to make themselves the victums, they are now trying to say they wanted to come to some sort of agreement to make things right. Funny how the bully becomes the victim so quickly when the tables are turned. Vote NO on Articles 6, 26, and 27.

4) The Lehtonen's sued the town, we didn't sue them. They actually got newspapers to lie for them, pretty incredible. THEY are wasting tax payer's money, not the abutters, not the town, THEY ARE. The court system has ALREADY told them they are wrong, why don't they stop now? They now owe us in excess of $100,000 dollars and growing everyday, think of what that can do for new roads, recreational center, schools, fishing derby etc. If you vote yes for them we LOSE all of that money plus the money that the Lehtonen's wasted dragging US through the court system.

5) The real reason for all of this is that the Lehtonen's are losing in court and don't want to pay the fines, period. Vote NO on Articles 6, 26, and 27.

6) Lastly, and most importantly, think about what this vote means. If the Lehtonen's win then basically if you ever have a problem with a business in town and you start to win your battle in the court system these business's like the 1808 Corp owned by the Lehtonen's can simply have the problem voted away right under your feet. This means that basically as a tax paying citizen you would virtually have NO RIGHTS to defend yourself against businesses ruining your quality of life. This could be another sign issue, noise, pollution, or just high traffic issues endangering YOUR family and there would be nothing you could do about it, NOTHING if they can just vote the issue away.

Vote NO on Articles 6, 26, and 27.
Just the Facts

Essex Junction, VT

#10 Mar 10, 2007
www.1808corp.com is full of misleading propaganda. The only thing Ken has said that I believe is that he wants all of Rt 124 to be changed to a commercial/ industrial zone! Residents with homes along Rt 124 should be outraged! The Lehtonens vision for your neighborhood is Rt 101a in Nashua or even worse the strip by the Pheasant Lane mall.
Maybe you would like a Hooters next to your home!
Imagine all the electronic message boards showing pictures of ads for Viagra, Abortion clinics, XXX magazine stores. Vote NO on Articles 6, 26, and 27. The expensive media blitzkrieg by the Lehtonens shows you just how desperate they are to dupe the townspeople into letting them keep the sign and to try to get out of paying over $200,000 in fines and legal fees. Don't let them fool you!
VOTE NO!
Deb

AOL

#11 Mar 12, 2007
I live in Lunenburg, MA and travel to Peterborough, NH Monday through Friday. I was shocked and sadden to see the sign go up in the first palce. It does not belong in a small traditional New England town, and I feel it is unsafe vecause drivers take their eyes off the road to read the sign. I hope to see the sign go down very soon.
Just the Facts

Essex Junction, VT

#12 Mar 12, 2007
If the people vote "NO" to Sandy and Ken's articles will they listen to the people and take down their sign? Will they hold themselves to the same standard that they are trying to push onto the Selectmen? I doubt it!
Forestpond

Los Angeles, CA

#13 Mar 12, 2007
Deb, I agree with you completely. I've caught myself many times trying to view that sign when I should have been focusing on the road ahead of me. It is most definitely a safety hazard, and it's only a matter of time before somebody is hurt because it is there. The owners say it is a "colonial" design so we should be happy with it. Huh? Can't wait until it's gone.
Deb wrote:
I live in Lunenburg, MA and travel to Peterborough, NH Monday through Friday. I was shocked and sadden to see the sign go up in the first palce. It does not belong in a small traditional New England town, and I feel it is unsafe vecause drivers take their eyes off the road to read the sign. I hope to see the sign go down very soon.
NIer

Montpelier, VT

#14 Mar 13, 2007
I find them to be liars. I read through their flier when it came, wanted to hear their side of the story. They said something about people saying how much 'everyone must love the sign, it's never been vandalized' and KSL agreed it has 'never' been vandalized. Did they forget it was paintballed shortly after being put up? I didn't. Small detail, but shows how happy they are to omit facts that don't suit them. We'll see what happens with their articles today. I will be sad if they pass, but at least I can know I made my voice heard and voted against the sign, be it popular opinion or not, we'll see.
George

United States

#15 Mar 13, 2007
HAVE THEY NO SHAME!!!!

TAKE IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!
brent

Milford, NH

#16 Mar 13, 2007
I still would like to see the law that 1808 corp broke
Just the Facts

Essex Junction, VT

#17 Mar 14, 2007
The Townspeople have spoken once again for their distaste of the Lehtonen's sign and their agreement that the Town should not drop it's defense of the lawsuit brought forth by Sandy and Ken. For those like Brent, go to the Town Hall or go online to the Town Website and get a copy of the Town's Site Plan Regulations. Read it, note the portions requiring proposed signs to be shown on the plan with details such as location, size, height, and elevation view. These details were never shown as required on the Lehtonen's approved site plan regarding their Electronic sign. Also, note the section which discusses signs cannot glare on neighbors, create a hazard to drivers, etc. This section is also violated. There is provision for later changes to be made to a property's approved plan, but those changes require an amended site plan be submitted and approved by the Planning Board. This step was never done by the 1808 Corp because they hastily installed the sign to beat the Town's new ordinance passed to prohibit signs like theirs. The 1808 Corp in applications for variances also stated that their renovations to the property would be complementary to the Historic nature of the building and the sign violates this.
After the election results were in last night the sign was again advertising homes. I would expect the sign to be removed today and the Lehtonens to drop their appeal since the Townspeople have voted against them. Sandy Lehtonen stated the Town should drop it's defense if the voters sided with the 1808 Corp. They should hold themselves to the same standard. I expect the Town to receive a check for the fines and legal fees from the Lehtonens immediately as long as an apology to the Townpeople for their illegal actions for the past 2 years. Oh yah, I won't hold my breath!
The Fishercat

Pelham, NH

#18 Mar 14, 2007
"Sandy" and "Kenny" Lehtonen, take down that sign!
NIer

Montpelier, VT

#19 Mar 14, 2007
I am happy to hear the majority have voiced their displeasure, but I fully expect KSL will ignore it.
They asked, and they got their answer, but they seem to lack any ethical standards of behavior. Where can we find results on the other articles we voted on?
The Fishercat

Pelham, NH

#20 Mar 14, 2007
NIer wrote:
I am happy to hear the majority have voiced their displeasure, but I fully expect KSL will ignore it.
They asked, and they got their answer, but they seem to lack any ethical standards of behavior. Where can we find results on the other articles we voted on?
The town website has it, I think it's http://www.townofnewipswich.org/

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

New Ipswich Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Deadline set to resolve contested gravesites Apr '16 Dick keddy 1
News New Ipswich: Another sex crime charge levied Jan '16 MARIE STJAMES 1
vindictive neighbors Dec '15 trixy224 1
News Harvey Martel, father of convicted murderer Mol... (Aug '14) Nov '15 Beverley Belmore 3
News Kinder Morgan shrinks proposed pipeline size (Aug '15) Aug '15 John Gorham- Rich... 1
My 9 year old niece shot by someone shooting BB... (Jul '15) Jul '15 Michelle 1
News Record reveals Lowell school worker's anguish a... (May '08) Jul '15 Sharon 39
More from around the web

Personal Finance

New Ipswich Mortgages