Where does the line for municipal government services end and professional holiday decorator begin?
Should the city be responsible for purchasing, maintaining, constructing and assembling holiday decorations in the downtown area?
Those old white snowflake decorations that used to hang downtown are no longer and at least two local business owners say the city isn't doing enough to make it look like Christmas in downtown Warren.
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Main Street President Dan Ristau displays a holiday decoration that will go downtown before the Christmas Walk.
"The city isn't doing their job, this is their job and they darn well know it's their job," Main Street President Dan Ristau said. "Just another frustration in a continual line of frustrations. I don't blame our new city manager by any means, she's I think remarkable and I think as time goes on she'll get a lot of this stuff corrected for us."
However, Ristau said if the Christmas Walk is going to look like Christmas, Warren Main Street is going to need some volunteers.
"As far as I know the city has always had the decorations and put them up," Main Street President Dan Ristau said. "We've got the Christmas parade and thousands of people and we want the place to look nice."
City Manager Nancy Freenock was not available for comment but City Executive Secretary Teena Leary said Freenock had indicated the city is working to get something up before the Christmas Walk.
Before approximately 20 new light poles were installed downtown as part of the Streetscape program, those old white snow flakes would hang from lightposts during the holiday season. Now the decorations have deteriorated and wouldn't fit on the new lightpoles anyway.
"Right at the moment we are working on putting something up very simple, very easy, just for this year at low cost to see what we can do," Director of Public Works Mike Holtz said. "We'll then work towards working on a better decoration for next season."
Ristau said if downtown is going to be ready for the Christmas Walk on Dec. 7 a number of bow makers are needed to help out. Anyone willing to help volunteer as a bow maker can contact him at 726-3693.
"Even the old decorations are all tattered, the downtown needs new decorations and that's all there is to it," he said.
Phase Two owner and former Main Street President Julia Tarr said besides the lightposts on Liberty Street and Northwest Savings Bank's massive wreaths, there are no decorations downtown and it's the city's fault.
"Where are they?" she said. "It makes me sick."
Tarr said the city could've purchased banners, wreaths, ornaments, lights and red ribbons.
"I don't think it's our responsibility to be out doing this business. I think it should be the city...they're going to pass the buck and say it's somebody else. They're going to say it's Main Street, well Main Street had a functional paid staff years ago that could help facilitate this but not anymore. Somebody needs to be proactive and be planning on this."
As a business owner Tarr said she "absolutely" expects the city to promote and organize in downtown Warren.
"There needs to be a civic organization that that is part of their job to promote businesses within the community over major holidays so our kinfolk and our young coming into visit for the holiday's can see that Warren is growing and there is something going on," she said.