An outdoor event planned in the downtown on Sept. 11 passed its first hurdle within the city administration, but at the council meeting Monday it did not enjoy unified enthusiasm among the city council.
A special event application was submitted last week to the city clerk's office bearing the signature of Justin Lindell, owner of The Q Bar and Nightclub. With the accompaniment of signatures from neighboring businesses, including Covenant Manor Apartments, the council Public Safety Committee gave conditional support.
"We approved the application, pending all the necessary parties get to evaluate this request and sign off on it. But we will certainly go with the recommendation of public safety, police and fire, parks and rec and the DPW," said Mike Taylor, D-Ward 3 and Public Safety chair.
The event is described on its application as the Red, White and Blue Party for "Sept. 11 Remembrance Day and Buffalo Bills season opener," including a tailgate party outside The Q establishment. Lindell states his intention to provide outdoor music, games, cookout and an alcohol tent across Cherry Street at the untitled municipal park.
When the Public Safety Committee arrived to the full council, other council members raised concern about the content of the event.
"Is this a party or is this just a commemoration of what happened 10 years ago?" asked Council President Greg Rabb. "It bothers me that on a day for a lot of people, myself included, especially those who lost loved ones in the attacks, it seems that if they are trying to commemorate what happened they are doing it inappropriately to say the least."
Rabb said a tailgate party would be ideal on another date, and Tony Dolce, R-Ward 2 suggested removing the "Remembrance Day" slogan from the accompanying poster text.
Mayor Teresi said the encroachment request onto the lower end of Cherry Street and the city park allows the city to make its best judgment about approving such a themed event.
"I don't think the city government has anything to say about what they can do. What is being requested of us and what we do have some say over, is whether we are going to close down a street and let them use a public park area to do it," he said.
City Clerk Jim Olson said the applicant is waiting to obtain its outdoor liquor permit from the State Liquor Authority. Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey said public safety officials would have to provide their signatures after confirming the times of setup and breakdown as it affects the street closure. In addition, the event's start time is advertised as 11 a.m., however the sale of on-premises wine and beer is illegal before noon on Sundays in Chautauqua County.