Campaign Signs Stolen and damaged in Rochester Hills

With a primary election just three weeks away, several candidates For Rochester Hills city council have reported that their campaign signs are being stolen or vandalized.
Councilman J. Martin Brennan, who is not running in the election, filed a report with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, stating that several candidates’ signs had been stolen from his lawn overnight. Mark Tisdel, a candidate for an at-large seat on council, said in his subdivision in the northern part of the city, all the signs were stolen on Grandview, Fairmont and Sandy Ridge, including signs on his own lawn for himself, Mayor Bryan Barnett and Councilman Mike Webber. He lost about 10 of his own campaign signs, he said.
“I got a call this morning from one of my neighbors wanting to know where her sign went,” Tisdel said. He quickly replaced all his lost signs.
Laurie Puscas, a candidate in the District 2 council race, said she got a phone call from a supporter alerting her that several signs had been ripped into pieces.
“It was a little disappointing, to think that people would do that,” Puscas said, “I hope maybe it was a child prank. … It’s disheartening.”
This isn’t the first election in which campaign signs have been reported stolen in the city. Lt. Ray White of the sheriff’s Rochester Hills substation said such cases are typically handled as misdemeanors and could be punished by up to 93 days in jail. He couldn’t recall ever charging anyone in such a case.
Tisdel said he’s also learned that signs belonging to council candidates Dee Hilbert and Adam Kochenderfer were stolen. That makes him think it’s a youthful prank, not personal or campaign related. He pointed out that signs on major roads seem not to have been bothered.
“Maybe it’s just kids rambling around,” Tisdel said. “That’s what I’m thinking when I heard Laurie had hers (damaged). There’s no connection between her in District 2 and me in at-large.” He also said there is no connection between his campaign and those of Barnett and Webber, except endorsements.
“Being a newbie at this, I don’t show up in any of their literature,” he said.
Puscas said she’s trying not to spend any time speculating on who’s to blame. “I’m trying to stay focused and go door to door,” she said. “I hope we can all be adults and express our point of view.”
Tisdel said he was advised by a seasoned campaign advisor at the start of the campaign to buy more signs that he would actually need.
“That’s why we ordered twice as much as we needed, he said. “It just catches you off guard the first time it happens to you.”


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