By Melissa Komar
The Olde Richmond Civic Association “Can It” campaign trash cans have been curbside for a few weeks, and one has become a victim of vandalism, with an unlikely culprit.
ORCA secretary Dan Martino was walking by the “Neighborhood Watch” trash can located in front of Green Rock Tavern one night last week when he noticed more than eyes looking back at him.
A red and white sticker reading “Elect Sean Kilkenny, Democrat for State Representative 177th District” was on the lid opening.
Martino, who is also expected to seek the Democratic nomination in the 177th, and ORCA president Don Gould tried to remove the sticker the next morning and after experiencing difficulty, had to paint over it instead.
Several other Kilkenny stickers were discovered in both ORCA territory, Port Richmond and Bridesburg.
Stickers were found on the SEPTA sign adjacent to Portside Arts Center, the stop sign at Thompson Street and Indiana Avenue, the stop sign at Indiana Avenue and Edgemont Street, the utility pole at Allegheny Avenue and Richmond Street and the utility pole at the Richmond Street exit in Bridesburg.
ORCA Clean Streets director Rosemary Thomas led the effort to get the anti-litter initiative off the ground, which includes five trash cans spread throughout the neighborhood.
“It’s disappointing,” Thomas said. “It’s supposed to be someone who wants to represent our community. But, I’m hopeful he’ll do the right thing.”
Thomas reached out to Kilkenny via Facebook and received a response within 30 minutes.
Kilkenny promised to remove the stickers and reimburse the civic association for any costs incurred in covering up the sticker that was located on the trash can, according to Thomas.
Gary Masino, campaign manager for Kilkenny, confirmed immediate action would be taken.
“We have been in touch with the civic and have been working all day to correct [the issue],” Masino said. “We’re sending out volunteers tonight.”
About 40 stickers were removed by volunteers with Kilkenny’s campaign, and his team is working with ORCA to ensure all stickers are removed, according to Masino.
Masino said the stickers were given to volunteers to give out door-to-door. Having the stickers wind up on public property wasn’t part of the plan.
“This was a mistake of a couple inexperienced volunteers who actually thought they were doing good,” he said. “Now that I’m here full-time, training will be much more detailed.”
According to the Department of Streets, placing stickers on public signs such as a stop sign can be seen as vandalism because it can obstruct the message.
Individuals who find any type of sticker on a public sign are encouraged to contact the streets department or 311 for removal.
Anyone who finds a Kilkenny sticker can contact Masino at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stickers will be removed the same day, Masino said.
While Thomas is disappointed the incident occurred, she is satisfied with the outcome.
“I am happy that they responded quickly to the issue,” she said. “It is unfortunate that it happened in the first place, but I’m glad we were able to communicate our concerns and be heard.” ••