HUDSON — Four people, including a county official, charged with painting unauthorized crosswalks in the city pleaded not guilty in City Court on Tuesday.
Fourth Ward Supervisor and Time & Space Ltd. co-founder Linda Mussmann, 71; Time & Space Ltd. co-founder Claudia Bruce, 72; former 2nd Ward Supervisor Ed Cross, 69; and resident Peter Spear, 46, pleaded not guilty to making graffiti, a class A misdemeanor; and with violations under the city code during their arraignment Tuesday.
The four are accused of illegally painting crosswalks at the corners of Third and State streets Sept. 24.
The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and Department of Public Works are working to determine a restitution amount to the city, Assistant District Attorney Joyce Crawford said.
All four are due back in court Dec. 11 for an appearance to discuss restitution, Crawford said. No trial date has been set.
The crosswalks were painted after residents complained to the Common Council and Department of Public Works Committee about the intersection in a neglected part of the city, Mussmann said Sept. 24.
Mussmann posted Facebook photos of Bruce, who is Mussmann’s wife, and Spear painting a crosswalk.
Complaints about the intersection had gone unchecked for some time, and there was concern about safety at the corner near Nazma Deli & Grocery Store, 44 N. Third St., Bruce said in September.
“I think what is going on here is that this is bringing some awareness to the situation,” Bruce said Sept. 27.
Cross had complained at Department of Public Works and Common Council meetings months earlier about the dangers he perceived at the intersection of Third and State streets.
Spear was surprised the police decided to press charges, but said Oct. 19 he was happy to see the city had painted permanent crosswalks.
Marking city streets or public property is restricted, according to city code.
“No person, firm or corporation, unless authorized by the commissioner of Public Works, shall paint, mark, write, print or stencil any letters, figures, pictures or characters of any kind upon an street, public building or any other public property,” according to the code.
The crosswalks were not drawn with the proper paint and the distance between the lines were against state Department of Transportation regulations.
Authorized crosswalks had to be repainted, Department of Public Works Superintendent Rob Perry said Sept. 28.
Department of Public Works crews painted new, authorized crosswalks at the intersection of Third and State streets and at Second and State streets by Oct. 3.
No pedestrians were injured in the lone vehicle accident reported in the past 15 years at the intersection, Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said Sept. 28.
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