Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 19, 2013

Flap grows over Main Street banner

Andover Day sign blamed for bridal window damage


However, all banners are supposed to have U-shaped wind openings every 5 feet. The Andover Day banner did not have those vents, Stapczynski said, so when the wind blew on Sept. 8, the force was too great and the clips holding the base of the banner to the steel cable may have given way.

Not everyone is so sure that the banner caused the damage, however.

Mark Spencer, a former downtown business owner and past president of the Rotary Club of Andover, worked for nine years to get the banner hung across Main Street. He said while the bottom of the banner appeared to be flapping around on Monday, Sept. 9, two days after Andover Day, it isn’t to blame for the broken window.

“Buzz is trying to connect the broken window to the banner,” he said, adding that there was no conclusive proof that the banner was at fault. “It’s highly unlikely.”

Yet, the ABCA has agreed to cover the cost of the window damage.

“The ABCA has graciously offered to pay even though it’s unlikely that’s how it happened,” Spencer said. “It looks more like a rock was thrown through it.”

Spencer has become accustomed to opposition to the banner. When he first proposed it nine years ago, he and other ABCA members were told that since the town didn’t have a bylaw regarding banners, they were illegal.

So Spencer and his banner comrades set about writing a bylaw, which was approved by Town Meeting. But then they found they couldn’t raise the money to install heavy-duty poles that would be required to hoist the banner.

Earlier this year, a breakthrough came about when the owner of two Main Street buildings offered to let the ABCA anchor the steel cables from the corner of his properties.

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