St. Patty’s Day options
City Council Quality of Life Committee mulls changes
On Tuesday, March 10th, an emergency working session of the City Council Quality of Life Committee was held at Police Headquarters. Chairperson and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason commented, “I called this emergency meeting after the event Saturday as there is no doubt that action needed to be taken. The city needs to come together on a strategy for the future of this event, while it is an important day for the hospitality businesses, my concern is for the health, safety and welfare of the residents and taxpayers.”
Chairperson Mason stated, “A timeline has been established to compile data, formulate a strategy and produce legislation for submission to the Council.” The committee will reconvene in 2 weeks with the goal of having a full report and legislative options before the City Council in 4-6 weeks.
Committee member and 4st Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer said, “I’m looking forward to working with the public and local businesses to ensure public safety while keeping in mind the need for revenue in these tough economic times.”
Council President Nino Giacchi, who was also in attendance, added, “I’m pleased that the committee has taken a leadership role to look at long-term solutions.”
There was a general consensus coming out of the meeting on the following key issues;
- consider a day change moving the event from Saturday to either Sunday or a weekday,
- update legislation addressing safety issues of ingress/egress of apartment buildings, use or roofs and fire escapes and occupancy of balconies,
- review increasing of fines, and
- improve communication and coordination of public safety agencies, transportation and other important stakeholders along with an integrated community awareness campaign.
Committee member and 1st Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano concluded, “Being host to time-honored traditions such as this is important for a community. Every city should have the ability to host a variety of fairs and cultural celebrations without endangering the public and personal property.”