At last week's Canfield City Council meeting, John Saunders from first Night Canfield was in attendance with one of a number of signs he had hoped to put up on city light poles.
"First Night Canfield has tried to find a way to cover budget cuts," Saunders said. "We came up with banners for light poles."
Saunders displayed one of the banners with carry the First Night Canfield logo along with a person or company who purchased ad space on it. He said the intent was to sell the ad space on the bottom and place the banners around the city on routes that would lead to FNC venues. The banners were selling for $50 for individuals to $150 for businesses. The problem was that FNC didn't find out about the city's sign ordinances.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
John Saunders from First Night Canfield displays one of the signs the organization wants to place on the city’s light poles. He was turned down for this year’s event which he said will cause a loss of $3,000.
"I disagree with advertising on our light poles," said city councilman Dan Frazzini.
City Attorney Mark Fortunato said, "It is a sign. We have a specific set of regulations for signs in the city."
Fortunato told Saunders that there are regulations covering non-profit signs, but what FNC wanted to do on light poles would require asking for an adjustment to those regulations to allow it. He said the proper procedure is to request the adjustment and appear before the Planning and Zoning Board. If approved, it would require purchasing a permit for the signs.
"Looking at the process, it would take 60 to 90 days," Saunders said.
He asked if council would wave the regulations this year so they wouldn't have to give back the close to $3,000 the banners have already raised.
Fortunato said city council could not allow it as it could set a precedent for other commercial entities to ignore the sign ordinance.
"City Council can't allow it as they must abide by the laws and the process that is required," he told Saunders.
In other business:
Last Wednesday's meeting was Marleen Belfiore's final time sitting as a councilwoman for the City of Canfield. At the end of the final 2011 meeting, she was honored with a proclamation and was presented with a commemorative wood-carved lamp. Belfiore had served as councilwoman for the past 24 years. She has also been the liaison on the Parks and Recreation Board.
The summer Recreation schedule for 2012 was set for the weeks of June 11-15, June 18-22, and June 25-29.
Warino informed council that the District Board of Health had cited the property at 120 Indian Lake for exterior violations. The property owner will have seven days before it would be turned over to environmental court.
Fortunato said he will be working on legislation regarding home owners associations. He said there are eight Planned Unit Developments in the city and contacts are needed for each.
Bob Minkler addressed the council on the issue of sidewalks. He said if the Parks and Recreation Board takes care of street trees, then the board should be able to repair sidewalks damaged by street tree roots.