News & Politics

Thousands in Fines for One Poster Only the Latest Sanitation Law Scam

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That the campaign of mayoral candidate Bill Thompson would be fined heavily for illegal postering makes sense — such campaigns cover a lot of city property. But the city wants out of Susan Hager, owner of the Sketch & Hammer deckmaking business, thousands of dollars in fines for putting up one flyer — because the flyer had a little pocket for her business cards, and the Sanitation Department claims each card as a violation. “If you post 20 cards on one pole or multiple poles,” says their spokesman, “it’s 20 different infractions.”


Among the Sanit Department’s other greatest hits:

They recently charged $9,000 in fines for 116 pet shop flyers, and hit a Maspeth street fare with $300 in fines per poster, rather than the usual $75, because there were four names on the poster — that of the sponsors, the Maspeth Kiwanis Club, the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club, and the printer — and Sanitation fined each one. The posters had been put up by local Boy Scouts.


Of course there are individuals unaffiliated with Sanitation who have a bug up their ass about postering, but no one can say they have a financial interest in getting posterers in trouble.