The City Manager of Cambridge fined The Riverside Neighborhood Association $300 for posting signs on street light poles that the city purchased from the utility company. Cambridge Chronicle story here
Harvard organizations also post signs on the street light poles in and around their campus. Why is Harvard immune from fines for violations of the same law? Here is the most recent instance of selective enforcement of laws (unequal protection of laws) by the City Manager who runs the city with no oversight. Ordinary citizens have their rights to free expression curbed by public officials while wealthy corporations (Harvard has $35 billion) can ignore the same laws.
[City Ordinance on posting fliers on public property]
Section 9.04.050 Defacing public property.
A. No person shall post or attach, or directly or indirectly cause to be posted or attached in any manner, any handbill, poster, advertisement or notice of any kind on public property except by permission of the City Manager or his designee, or on private property without the consent of the owner or occupant thereof.
B. Any handbill or sign found posted or otherwise affixed on any public property contrary to the provisions of this section may be removed by the Police Department or the Department of Public Works or the Inspectional Services Department.
C. The person or persons responsible for causing the unlawful posting of any notice described herein will be liable for the cost of removal and for the penalties described below. Persons liable under this section include, but are not limited to, any individual, corporation, partnership or other organization whose advertisement, message or information appears on the unlawfully posted notice.
D. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine of three hundred dollars. Each illegally posted notice, advertisement, poster or sign shall be considered a separate violation of this section, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation of this section occurs or continues.
E. As an alternative to the penalty set forth in subsection D, whoever violates any provision of this section shall be penalized by a noncriminal disposition as provided in G.L., c. 40, §21D. For purposes of this section, the following officials shall be enforcing persons: Cambridge Police Officers and designated staff of the Cambridge Department of Public Works and the Inspectional Services Department.
Then noncriminal penalty for the first violation of this section shall be twenty-five dollars; for the second violation, one hundred dollars; and for the third and all subsequent violations, two hundred dollars. (Ord. 1138, 1992)