By John Burton
RED BANK – Mayor Pasquale Menna said he has a solution for what he said has been a longstanding bane: promotional stickers that continually find their way onto public and private property without the owners’ consent.
At last Wednesday’s Borough Council meeting Menna announced his plans to hopefully prevent any further damage to property.
His plan, the mayor explained, would be to bring up the issue when businesses are seeking approval from the local planning or zoning boards. As Menna explained, the future ordinance, when adopted by the borough, would ask businesses if they intend to distribute promotional adhesive stickers as part of their marketing and advertising plan. If so, they must assure the board that the stickers would have an easily removable adhesive backing. That would be a condition of board approval for the business to move forward.
“I take destruction of property very seriously,” Menna said at last week’s meeting.
If future businesses agree to the provision, yet fail to adhere to it, “You will be notified that one of your signs are there,” he said. If the sticker is not easy to get it off, the offending business would be subject to daily penalties.
“It’s a shame you to have to be Big Brother,” but there appears no other way to curtail the practice and damage, Menna said.
Menna has long railed about local businesses who give out the stickers, which can be easily found adhered to street and traffic signs and walls throughout the community, especially in the downtown business district.
“The biggest culprit” last week said Borough Councilwoman Kathy Horgan is Cluck-U Chicken, a sandwich and chicken takeout restaurant, 50 Water Street.
“I see no reason we have to clean up Cluck-U stickers on every sign,” Menna said. But he added, “They’ve been talked to.”
And on Monday, Robert Lisi, the manager on duty at Cluck-U Chicken said, “We pretty much stopped it about a year ago.
“We’re doing other things,” like giving out key rings, to promote the business, Lisi said.
According to Menna, the previous borough attorney told the governing body it would be difficult to enforce any prohibition on the stickers or to penalize the businesses for distributing them; only if a culprit was witnessed putting it on property, could that individual be criminally charged.
Putting it in the boards’ hands would mean it would be up to the businesses to self-regulate, Menna said.
This would only impact new businesses, however, Menna said.