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Political signs taken in Greenville

GREENVILLE — Leon Proctor, one of two residents on the ballot for Select Board this year was out for a drive Sunday, when he passed a cluster of signs advertising candidates for local municipal positions. But his own wasn’t among them, even though he placed signs several weeks ago.

In preparation for March elections, Proctor put up six signs advertising his campaign. But since he put them up last week, four of the six signs have disappeared, he said in an interview Monday. Proctor is making a run for the Select Board this year alongside fellow resident Tony Ste. Marie. He’s made an attempt for the Select Board twice previously, he said, and has never had any issues with anyone taking or vandalizing his signs before.

It’s not unusual for political signs to disappear near an election period, said Police Chief James McTague in an interview Monday. But it is very rare to catch anyone in the act of removing it, which is one of the only ways to conclusively catch the culprit, he said. But signs can also disappear when they are struck by plows, or removed by state or town officials in cases when they are posted improperly.

Proctor said his signs were grouped with other signs for local political races, and his is the only one that is missing. Some of them were also taken from the private property of supporters.

“Everyplace I had a sign, my opponent’s sign is still there,” said Proctor. “Except for mine, none from the selectman’s race and none from the School Board were gone. It wasn’t done by snowplows. It’s definitely targeted. Somebody doesn’t want me to advertise that I’m running.”

The signs were taken from outside of Greenville Estates, the center of town, across from Greenville Auto and on Route 31 across from the Green Bridge, according to Proctor.

“It’s pretty shameful when an honest campaign is being run between two candidates, and people can’t let the voters decide. That’s not the way politics is supposed to be played,” said Proctor.

Proctor said he has reported the thefts to the Temple-Greenville Police Department. Removing or defacing political signs is a civil offense that can carry fines of up to $1,000 in New Hampshire.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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