CUMBERLAND (AP) – A large “Bush-Cheney ’04” sign facing the water from a privately owned island is raising several questions, including whether a sign that can be seen by boaters is the same as a sign on a public way.

Town officials said they had not received any complaints about the sign on John Cacoulidis’ boathouse on Hope Island, but will be looking into the matter to see if the sign conforms with the town’s zoning ordinance.

The ordinance states that a political sign is not allowed to be displayed until 30 days before an election.

But the ordinance also stipulates that it does not apply to signs that are “not visible from a public way.”

Town Manager William Shane said because Hope Island is privately owned, there are no public roads on it. But, he said, there is no doubt the sign is highly visible.

Another question that code enforcement officer William Longley will explore is whether Cacoulidis needed a permit to erect the banner, something the sign ordinance also states is needed.

Officials said no permit has been issued to Cacoulidis for the banner.

Cacoulidis, who didn’t immediately return a message left at his office on Thursday, has made headlines many times over the years and has attempted to secede from Cumberland to avoid property taxes, claiming he received no town services for his tax dollars.

Most recently, tensions between the New York developer and his neighbors were heightened after it was announced Hope Island could be the site of a liquefied natural gas terminal.

There are still some bad feelings from that debate, Doughty said.

The banner is not expected to help the situation.

The banner, Shane said, “is just another one of our adventures of Mr. Cacoulidis.”

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