LYONS – A concerned resident reported seeing crews for the village of Lyons Public Works Department clearing political signs from the lawns of residents following the April 9 election, but village officials said there was nothing nefarious about it.
"Absolutely they were [picking up the signs]," said Thomas Sheahan, village manager. "After every election ... we pick these up and take them over to public works."
Sheahan said the removal of the signs is not politically motivated and that public works crews are told to collect all signs, not only those for a single candidate. The resident who contacted Suburban Life voiced a concern that only signs for the United Citizens Party were being picked up. The resident asked not to be identified.
"We want to keep the village tidy," Sheahan said. "Our public works department does a great job. [Lyons] is one of the cleanest towns you'll see."
Sheahan said that generally, crews only remove signs from the public way – vacant storefronts and along village parkways — not from residents' lawns.
"The direction is to clean up the town," Sheahan said of the instructions given to crews.
He added that occasionally, crews might take a sign from a resident's lawn, but they generally leave those on houses, or ask the residents if they would like them removed.
"I don't give them a 40-page document telling them how to do it," Sheahan said.
Occasionally a resident will request that a sign be given back, Sheahan said. Residents who have family members running, for example, might wish to keep the sign. In that case, residents are welcome to go to the Department of Public Works, 7825 W. 39th St., to pick it up.
"We generally keep them for a few days," Sheahan said.