GROTON (CBS) –The “All Are Welcome” signs in Groton are not welcome by everyone in the town.
Some residents are wondering it is a thinly-veiled response to President Trump.
There are eight stones with the welcome phrase engraved on them around the town’s border.
“Just to show that Groton is a welcoming community and that was the whole initiative behind it,” town manager Mark Haddad told WBZ-TV.
The stones are town markers thought up by the board of selectman and were approved by town meeting back in the spring with a symbolic cost of one dollar after donations, but it’s a simple message not all agree with.
“I think in this day and age that it carries a political message unnecessarily,” said Jack Saball.
Saball doesn’t believe people in town had enough input voting on what the stones say, which is why he filed a citizens petition for the fall town meeting to have the wording debated and changed. He thinks it’s represents political innuendo.
“It should say ‘Welcome to Groton,’ something very simple,” he said. “I think it should be neutral, but still be welcoming.”
Selectman Jack Petropoulos says he helped come up with the idea for the stones after noticing a divide in our country following the election, but says there was no political motivation behind the message.
“It is not an anti-Trump piece. Period. It’s not an anti-Trump thing, it is addressing a lot of the conversations that have happened,” said Petropoulos.
He’s hoping it helps unify the town and is disappointed with the concerns it’s created.
“They want to take away the ‘all are’ and just say ‘welcome’ to Groton and I’m just a little concerned what it means when you take ‘all’ out of a sentence like that,” said Petropoulos.
The issue will be taken up during town meeting October 23.