Missing signs upset commissioner candidate Fairbank obscures Dell's sign with one of her own

October 25, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

An article about campaign signs, which ran in the Carroll County section of The Sun last Sunday, reported incorrectly that county commissioner candidate Carolyn L. Fairbank stapled one her signs onto one belonging to Donald I. Dell. In fact, Fairbank did not deface Dell's sign, and no one has claimed responsibility for the action.

The Sun regrets the error.

Besides waging intense campaigns for county commissioner, Carolyn Fairbank and Donald I. Dell are engaged in a sign war.

Fairbank, frustrated because three of her signs have disappeared from the busy corner of Liberty Road and Monroe Avenue in Eldersburg, stapled a fourth one "right dead in the middle of Dell's" last week, she said.

Independent Fairbank uses small circular signs that encourage voters to "think independently." The incumbent Republican Dell, waging his third commissioner campaign, promotes his "proven leadership" in bold colors on 4-by-8-foot placards.


Angered by his obscured message, Dell complained to supporter Hoby Wolf, who promised, "I'll take care of it."

Wolf ripped the offending Fairbank sign from the Dell sign Friday morning -- in full view of anyone passing by. As he walked back to his station wagon, circular sign in hand, he encountered Nimrod Davis, a Fairbank supporter.

Davis cried foul.

"I saw him taking the sign," Davis said.

Wolf admitted taking the sign and tossing it into his car. "My wife is my witness," he said.

But deliberately hiding Dell's message is a foul, too, Wolf said.

Wolf said he was merely clearing things up. And he is certain jTC Davis is the sign-stapling offender.

"He had a staple gun in the back of his truck," said Wolf. "The staples matched the ones on the sign I removed."

More than a dozen Fairbank signs have disappeared from postings throughout South Carroll, her home base, Fairbank said. She bought 500 for $1,500 and put them up right after the Sept. 15 primary.

Most campaigns are rife with sign defacements and thefts -- misdemeanors unless the property is worth more than $300.

"Anyone with knowledge of the facts can contact the District Court commissioner," said Jerry Barnes, state's attorney for Carroll County.

Offenders face a $500 fine and jail time -- 18 months for misdemeanor theft or 60 days for malicious destruction of property.

Davis said he will not take the matter any further than Monroe Avenue. Wolf has made a peace offering to the Fairbank camp.

"I am not the least bit interested where Carolyn's signs are, unless they are posted over Dell's," Wolf said. "In fact, I told Nimrod he could post Fairbank signs all over my property," about 70 acres along Oklahoma Road.

Pub Date: 10/25/98

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