The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


We have an update on Mini-Intimigate. This mini-scandal involved a citizen who called for the resignations of Mr. Mirch, Mr. Crawley and Mr. Buell over Intimigate, only to be ticketed by Code Enforcement a few days later for graffiti on his home. If you don't recall the story, here's our post.

Let us, too long, let us sum up:

1) Citizen pisses off Administration;
2) Citizen gets ticket for graffiti on his home;
3) Citizen not told what section of Code was actually violated;
4) No section of Code applies;
5) Administration says graffiti found upon routine inspection;
6) Administration says graffiti phoned in by anonymous source;*
7) Body of First Amendment found bludgeoned to death in alley (a clean alley, though).

Well, Harry has once again cleaned up the streets of Troy and one more piece of Graffiti has disappeared, never to darken fair Troy again. The graffiti at 262 Tenth Street is gone! We have to hand it to him. Harry gets results.

Through the magic of modern government, the aforementioned graffiti has been transformed into....a sign? (click on thumbnail)

Hell, we didn't know it was a sign! That's a different story.

Once again, Mr. de Seve hasn't been informed of what section of the Code he has violated. But, we can help him out. We found this:
§ 141-34. Signs. [Amended 4-2-1992]

A. The erection of signs on the front of buildings will be allowed if they are constructed of fireproof material, properly protected from the elements and firmly and permanently attached to the front of the building or structure. All signs, whether on the roof or the wall of the building shall be so constructed as to adequately resist wind pressure in accordance with the terms of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

B. The overhang of any sign is limited to four feet over a public sidewalk or thoroughfare with a minimum clearance of at least 12 feet between the sidewalk level and the bottom of the sign. The designs of any sign or display board having an area on one face in excess of 50 square feet must be submitted to the Director of Code Enforcement for approval before construction will be permitted.

C. Note that there is a fee for the erection of signs, as well as an annual charge.

D. Subsections A, B and C shall not apply in the event that signs are constructed in the City of Troy incidental to the production of a commercial artistic or cinematographic enterprise that has obtained permission from the City to undertake said commercial artistic or cinematographic enterprise.

We're not sure which provision has been violated. It may be Subsection A. There's no way that sign can adequately resist wind pressure. Or maybe the graf....sign...overhangs the public sidewalk too much.

It can't be subsection C. de Seve didn't erect the 'sign.' Don't you have to put a sign up before you are subject to any fee?

We eagerly await next week's ticket. Perhaps the graffiti will become a marquee or an awning.

The violent crime rate may have risen more tha 35% since '04, but at least Troy's rampant sign problems are being addressed. Troy is indeed experiencing a Renaissance and some of the most creative fiction written today is coming right from City Hall.

Gotta run. Some young punk is spraying a sign on my car.

* There is now a third version of how Code came to issue the original ticket, which we'll discuss later.

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