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Sign offends member of City Council

April 17, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Councilwoman Penny May Nigh on Tuesday complained about the language a man used on a sign he put in his yard to complain about a proposed city real estate tax rate increase.

James Grinder, 34, painted and installed two signs in his yard, at the corner of Washington Avenue and Bryan Place, to protest a proposed 7.2 percent increase to the city real estate tax rate.

"I know we got freedom of speech but what about the swearing?" Nigh asked. Nigh said she has no problem with being criticized, but doesn't like the man's choice of a word.

I wish that we could do something about it," Nigh said.

"How far will it go if we allow it?" she asked.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner suggested city officials contact the Maryland Municipal League for answers to Nigh's questions.

Hagerstown has no law restricting what can be written on a yard sign.

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Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire said the amount of taxes Grinder said he has to pay, more than $4,000, must be for more than one property.

Grinder has said the amount is the taxes he pays on several properties he owns in Hagerstown.

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