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Woman seeks reimbursement for missing sign that highway department removed on Sigsbee Road

After Southold Town deemed a reserved parking sign on Sigsbee Road in Mattituck illegal, a Mattituck woman has filed a notice of claim seeking reimbursement for the $50 sign she says was lost by a town highway department crew last month.

According to highway superintendent Vincent Orlando, his office received an anonymous complaint in August about a sign affixed to a fenced-in waterfront property owned by the Sigsbee Road Civic Association.

The sign read: “Reserved [for the] president of the Sigsbee Road Civic Association,” and was put up by Linda Mulé of Mattituck.

Ms. Mulé said last Monday that the sign, which she said had been up for about a month, was a Christmas gift from her sister, who thought it would be a nice way to recognize her volunteer efforts to run the homeowners organization.

“She thought it’d be nice if I had a spot I could always park in, since I’m always running back and forth” to the road-end beach, she said.

“There was no enforcement capability to it, I just thought it was a nice thing.”

According to the filing, received by the town clerk on Sept. 6, Ms. Mulé attempted but was unable to retrieve her sign, which had already been removed by a highway department crew.

According to a police report, the employees attempted to deliver the sign to her residence but may have accidentally dropped it at a neighbor’s porch instead.

Neighbors denied that the sign was dropped off at their home, according to the police report.

“After numerous phone calls to Mr. Orlando, a visit by [deputy highway superintendent Roger Tabor] and his staff and the filing of the attached police report, I have not gotten my sign back. No one can tell me where it is or that it wasn’t lost or destroyed,” Ms. Mulé wrote in the notice of claim, which includes a receipt for $53.07.

“[Mr. Tabor] went door-to-door looking for the sign,” Mr. Orlando said Wednesday.

Her last resort was to file the claim.

The Sigsbee Road Civic Association was founded in 1946, comprising approximately 70 homes in the neighborhood, located south of Route 25 in Mattituck.

Homeowners have deeded beach rights and pay dues to maintain the beachfront picnic area and private beach.

A Southold Town sign at the road end warns that parking is by town permit only.

“The road is the town’s road. You can’t legally reserve your own spot,” Mr. Orlando explained.

Ms. Mulé, herself a lawyer, said she understood the argument, but said the sign wasn’t bothering anybody.

“I really didn’t think it would cause grief and aggravation,” she said, laughing.

Her sister, in the meantime, has already ordered a replacement.

“I’m not going to put it back up,” Ms. Mulé said. “I’ll find a nice spot for it in my garage.”

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Photo caption: The “President parking only” sign was removed by the town. (Courtesy: Linda Mulé)