ACLU suing Holyoke, mayor over restrictions in lawn sign ordinance


The ACLU is suing the City of Holyoke and its mayor, over restrictions in the lawn sign ordinance.

Mayor Alex Morse told 22News he vetoed the ordinance because it infringes on the first amendment rights of Holyoke residents. 

Holyoke is facing a lawsuit over the lawn sign ordinance, passed last month, which bans residents from placing signs in their lawn. The ban is effective from December 1 to March 1.

The ACLU claims the city ordinance prohibits residents from expressing their political views. Mayor Morse said he never supported the ordinance and vetoed it, but a 9-to-3 vote from the council overrode his veto.

“I want the residents of Holyoke to know that, yes, this ordinance has passed, but I’ve instructed my staff, my department heads, not to enforce the ordinance,” said Mayor Morse. 

Mayor Morse told 22News he plans to work with the council to amend the ordinance.  A lawyer for the city has already been talking with council members. The mayor also said he doesn’t want a law on the books that’s not being enforced.

Opponents will have an opportunity to speak out against the ordinance during a public comment before Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

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