An elderly woman from Maine is openly defying her city’s repeated requests to take down her large pro-Trump banners, insisting that she would rather spend time in lockup and pay heavy fines than have her support for the president be silenced.
75-year-old Susan Reitman of Rockland was ordered by the city to remove her pro-Trump signs because they are too large, the Portland Press Herald reported.
“I admire your passion for our president. Truly, I do,” said Rockland Assistant Code Enforcement Officer William Butler wrote in an email to Reitman on Monday. “However, we have received a complaint and I have to do my due diligence and I have determined your signs are not in compliance with the Rockland code.”
Butler went on to note that while the city does not care what message the signs carry, there are rules governing how big signs can be and how many can be displayed on a single property. Residences can only display one sign that is no more than 2 square feet if attached to a structure, or no more than 4 square feet if standing free.
Reitman does not care about the rules: she has two large signs on her gate – “He Won, Get Over It” and “I (heart) Trump” – and another attached to her home. She claims that the last time an assistant code officer was on her property for an unrelated matter, she was not told that the signs were in violation.
“They can put me in jail,” Reitman said. “I won’t take them down.”
The city can impose a fine of between $100 and $1,000 per day for code violations, but the only way that Reitman would face jail time is if Rockland filed a land-use complaint in court and she ignored a judge’s orders to remove the signs.
If she gets slapped with fines, Reitman does not plan to pay and suggested that the city could place liens on her property if they so choose.
“I have the right to support our president,” she said. “This is about freedom of speech.”