MADISON — Holiday decorations adorning the center of town were vandalized over the Thanksgiving weekend.
According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eileen Banisch, sponsorship signs assigned to lighted wreaths along the Boston Post Road were stolen between Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1.
The signs were installed, along with the lighted wreaths, on Monday, Nov. 18. While out for a walk on Saturday, Nov. 30 Banisch’s husband, Tom, found Hammonasset Dental Care and Law Office of Tracy Couto signs laying on the sidewalk.
By Sunday morning all but seven of the 20 signs were torn down from the lampposts, nowhere to be found.
While it is unknown who was responsible for the damage Banisch believes it was probably youths, working in a group.
“I’m assuming it’s younger people because these have been up for a few weeks without incident and now with the influx of college kids over the long Thanksgiving weekend it could possibly be that,” she said.
“Here’s the deal, one kid alone wouldn’t do that,” she said. “Maybe one kid was pulling them down, but you’re not doing that if you’re alone, you’re doing that because you’re trying to impress your friends.
“You wouldn’t run down the street jumping up and ripping, jumping up and ripping,” she added.
While Banisch did speak to the police about the issue, she said it isn’t a police matter since there are no witnesses and there is no large monetary damage.
The signs, made of weatherproof paper, were worth about a dollar apiece. For Banisch it is not the cost of the signs, it is the principle of the vandalism.
“It’s what it represents,” said Banisch. “It’s disrespectful to businesses who step up to the plate to sponsor things to make the town look nice and it’s not the cost of the sign, it’s just discouraging.
“You have to have the sign reprinted, find somebody to go down and reinstall the signs and hope that it doesn’t happen again,” she said.
Banisch explained she has contacted the printer to have the signs reprinted and they will be reinstalled soon.
“We have a beautiful downtown and we go out of our way, the Chamber and the sponsors, to make it even nicer,” she said. “For people to be generous enough to sponsor this and then just have their sponsorship recognition ripped away for absolutely no reason it’s juvenile.”