HAVERHILL (CBS) — On Saturday morning in Haverhill, horns were blaring and engines were revving as residents rallied behind homeowner Rick Early, who has put up more Donald Trump signs than the city allows. Early, along with many of his friends, are standing their ground.
“It’s just a show of support. A lot of people want to support what we are doing and don’t like what the city is doing,” Early said.
The city has an ordinance prohibiting political signs that total more than 32 square feet of space. Early’s signs add up to more than 300 square feet.
“It’s way in excess of what’s allowed, and that’s all he’s been cited for is that he’s over the signage allowed by the city ordinance,” City Building Inspector Dick Osborne said.
Police say Mr. Early has a right to assemble in front of his home, though many neighbors were not happy about the rally. Many of the supporters that showed up said they were not there for Trump, but to support Early’s First Amendment Rights.
“I’m upset by the disturbance in the neighborhood. They’ve been honking like this since 8 a.m.,” one neighbor said.
“I am not decided yet, but he’s been getting pushed around for exceeding the square foot limit. I don’t see where this isn’t anything but his free speech,” neighbor Paul Fitzmeyer said.
Early put up the signs in January. Saturday, he experienced both support and disdain for his display. He said no matter the reaction, he will stand his ground for his candidate.
“He speaks to the average voter. He’s not your average politician. He’s a business man and I think that’s what we need in the White House,” Early said.
Early said he has not faced any fines yet, but if he does, he said he will take legal action.