Greendale Officials Deny Stealing Political Yard Signs

Village officials say signs were removed for violating the local sign ordinance.

At least one Greendale resident is convinced that politically-motivated Village officials had a municipal employee steal his yard sign.

The unnamed resident, whose yard sign supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker against the current , was so concerned that he contacted local conservative radio talk-show host Mark Belling about the situation.

The Greendale man told Belling about City of Greendale using their employees to pull pro-Walker yard signs from private property/city residents during Belling's January 6 broadcast on News/Talk 1130 WISN.

The resident claimed that he witnessed his yard sign being taken from his back yard by an on-duty village employee, so he followed the worker and asked to have his sign back. When the employee opened the trunk of his vehicle, the man claimed it was full of pro-Walker yard signs, but no pro-Recall signs.   

Todd Michaels, Greendale's Village Manager, said he contacted Belling to set the record straight and even posted a copy of the village's political sign ordinance on the village website.

Michaels says the signs are not allowed on village right-of-ways and are routinely removed by village employees on their normal rounds regardless of the signs' political affiliation. 

He went on to say the employee had no more than five or six signs in his trunk and that they included both pro-Walker and pro-Recall signs. Michaels said the village is continuing to investigate the incident and will release more infomation on Monday, January 9. 


Jason Patzfahl January 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I have had four "Recall Walker" yard sign taken out of my backyard. I was able to recover two of them from Village Inspector Scott Satula. He said they were in violation of their sign ordinances (my back yard backs up to Ramsey Ave. and the first 25 feet are considered Village property. I was not happy and do not like the fact that Village "officials" can go into your yard and pick up your property without first ringing your doorbell or giving you a phone call warning you that you are in violation of some obscure village ordinance. Also, that man's pro-Walker yard sign is right back where it was (fifteen feet from Ramsey Ave.) His house is in the 5700 block of Lakeview Dr., and like my house, his back yard is partly village property.
Cynthia January 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
If this story is about a Pro-walker sign by a complaint from a Walker supporter then why is the picture showing a recall sign? Wouldn't be on purpose would it?
Cheryl Sanders January 07, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Cynthia - my apologies about the accompanying photo. I knew that whatever sign picture I put with the story would get a complaint from one side or the other. I actually planned to run a pro-Walker sign photo because I felt it fit better with the story as you pointed out, however if you note the time the story was posted (just after midnight, as I had spent the majority of the evening covering a meeting at GHS) I had to use a file photo and this was the only one available at that time. If you have a pro-Walker sign photo, please upload it and I will gladly make the switch. Please be assured there was no political motivation on my part when I chose which photo to put with the story.
Concerned For Greendale January 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Shame on Greendale; don't our Village officials have been things to do. And now the Greendale Community is the laughing stock of Southeast Wisconsin. I bet the instructions to do this came from John Hermes.
Greendale Citizen January 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Greendale officials could have the common courtesy to ring the doorbell or call the citizen and give them proper time to remove or move the sign. Village officials should be ashamed. I paid for my sign. Move my sign and see what happens. Votes put you in your position and votes can take you out.
Bob Housey January 07, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I applaud village employees removing all signs in public areas. They should also remove all business signs such as advertising part time jobs. Let's be civil in our disagreements.
Bren January 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM
People should have the right to display signs if they wish if they aren't obstructing traffic. My favorite is "Recalls Divide Us." Scott Walker was elected Milwaukee County Executive through a recall. If Scott really believed "recalls divide us" he wouldn't have run for CE.
Carol January 07, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Is anyone else sick of this recall stuff? Don't they realize how much this is costing us? If you don't have a permit for rummage sale signs, they are removed too. Don't blame our village officials for this, they're only doing their job. No wonder there are so many young people who don't vote, cause these politics are getting ridiculous!!
Cheryl Sanders January 07, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Thank you for your patience until I was able to go out and get an additional photo today. As a journalist I always try to present both sides of an issue in an unbiased way. Thank you also to Zoli for adding your photo to the article.
Cynthia January 07, 2012 at 07:38 PM
No problem Cheryl.... TY
Cynthia January 07, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Yes a recall was started due to CRIMINAL actions, and he resigned instead so there was no recall election.... Yes, I agree RECALLS divide US. so stop with the temper tantrums and costing the State over 9 Million...... How about you add up all you people have cost the taxpayers so far?? My children are appalled by the bad behavior around WI in the past year shouting down people and disrupting events. Thank goodness they know it is wrong seeing as they have been raised NOT to act that way. BTW what services do you want your local to cut to pay for the extra elections or do you want them to simply lay-off a few folks?
Cynthia January 07, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I am sick to death of it!! Also tired of the slander and misinformation.... good grief.
Bren January 08, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Cynthia, that $9 million is partly my money too, and I'm willing to spend it to recall an individual who demonstrates what I call political "bad behavior." I hope you will sit down and explain to your children that the recall is democracy in action. Protests are legal exercising of rights, whether it is 100,000 protesters at the Capitol demonstrating against a radical puppet governor or the three dozen Tea/GOP'rs driven around the country in buses funded by the Koch brothers' PAC Americans for Prosperity. I haven't seen or heard any evidence that Greendale is going to have to lay off anyone because of the recall. Please provide some factual data to this effect or stop indulging in hyperbole.
Bren January 08, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Carol, with the new Voter ID law in place, even fewer young people are likely to vote.
Randy Hollenbeck January 08, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Bren, Walker did not win the Milwaukee County Executive election on a recall. It was a special election not a recall election. Ament retired.
Cynthia January 08, 2012 at 08:28 PM
bren........... We are a Republic, democracy was in action in Nov. 2010 when the majority voted and made Scott Walker the Governor. Democracy ended and anarchy happened when you had your little temper tantrums and tried to overthrow that election. You sir need a lesson in forms of Government. Get off the Koch talking point it has already be debunked and you all sound like liberal tools throwing that around. Bren does Glendale have the extra funds for the elections? Or will they have to cut funding somewhere? Have you asked how they will budget this cost?
Cynthia January 08, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Bren, tell me what's up with the young people you are talking about? I know of no young person that does not want the privilege to drive a car and have their DL. If a parent sends their child out into the world to get a job and support themselves and did not have them get an ID or a DL they fail in parenting...... You need some form of ID to get a job.... For heavens sakes in IL you even need an ID to buy simple cleaning products...........
ja January 09, 2012 at 12:59 AM
My 13 y/o has an ID...it's not rocket science to get an ID
Jason Patzfahl January 09, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Here is an 84-year-old Wisconsin woman who also serves on her town board, who will NOT be able to vote in the next gubernatorial election - thanks to the new Voter ID law. It is estimated that more than 150,000 seniors in WI do NOT have the proper ID to vote. Thanks Scotty, for disinfranchising the elderly ~ http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/12/05/381885/wisconsin-voter-id-law-may-force-84-year-old-woman-to-pay-200-to-get-a-voter-id/
Jason Patzfahl January 09, 2012 at 01:28 PM
FYI - The order to remove all the signs did NOT come from John Hermes, but rather Scott Satula, Director of Building Inpsections, who is not happy about the movement to recall Walker.
Cynthia January 09, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Don't you have to show some kind of Identification to get on a ballot? Jason, many people have offered to help her......... How did she get on Medicaid without Identification? What's stupid is this woman has not had Identification for 84 years... At least once a week I have to show my ID for something. When I enrolled my kids in school when we moved last Oct. do you think if I refused to show our ID's they would be in a classroom?
Cynthia January 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
jj bob January 09, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Is it really democracy when anyone can sign a recall petition more than once? What about someone's choice to not sign the recall. Those going around signing recall petitions more than once or those signing the recall who are not WI residents are stealing my vote to not sign it. This is not what democracy looks like.
our rights January 10, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Maybe I'll put my sign in the window, what's that you can do if someone unlawfully enters your home?..............
Jason Patzfahl January 10, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Cynthia, the elderly woman in question had an ID, but it is expiring soon, like all ID's do. But now with the more restrictive rules, her incorrect birth certificate will not allow her to get her new ID on time. And by the way, should these elderly people have to pay $ out of their own pockets to get duplicate birth certificates once they have lost that 84-year-old document? Are you willing to drive them to the DMV and wait with them? Are you willing to pay for a new copy of their birth certificate? In a day and age when getting people to vote is like pulling teeth already, why put obstacles in front of them? It is pretty disgusting when it is easier to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon than it is to cast you vote. ~ But we know it is all about denying "certain" people the right, don't we!
Cynthia January 10, 2012 at 04:05 PM
So you are saying because she is elderly she should not follow laws? Do you realize how many thing I have to show ID for? Did I throw a tantrum when I had to show my ID to enroll my kids in school? Did I throw a tantrum when I have to show ID to have a key remade at the dealership? Did I throw a tantrum when I have to show ID to rent a home? There are many, many needs for ID. I don't know of 1 teenager that does not want a license. Why wouldn't a parent get them ID or a DL and prepare their child to be a grown-up? You need ID to get a job, open a bank account, purchase many 'adult' items. Good grief the poor need ID to get entitlements.... Get over the disenfranchising bs and be responsible. Yes, I would take her for a ride to the DMV... you also can 'renew' online. Many people have offered to help this woman get her birth certificate and ID. I don't see you offering any help.... Voter Fraud is out there, it is real.
CowDung January 10, 2012 at 04:46 PM
According to the GAB: "• If driver license is revoked, suspended or expired OR if voter can provide the number but is uncertain if license is revoked, suspended or expired o Voter is asked to provide DL# and last 4 digits of SS# o If they provide just the SS#--they register and vote normally o If they provide just the DL#--they may not register and they may not vote" If the elderly woman in question has a SS#, she can vote. http://gab.wi.gov/taxonomy/term/135
Tony January 11, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Bren, I have tried to explain to my ten year old about the protests. However, he said it best. He was on a class field to the State Capitol. As they were walking up the sidewalk, several protestors spouted their mantra. One of them, assuming automatically just because a Teacher was chaperoning them, that she was on thir side, started in on her. She asked him to stop because there were children present. The man erupted at her. I asked my son, "so, what message do you think he was trying to get across?" "Oh, I don't know, Dad. That they are jerks?" Even children can recognize a tantrum.
ja January 11, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Scott Walker for President of the USA


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