Our opinion: Reasonable solution
We’ll have to give Warren City Council credit for coming up with a decent compromise solution to the angst generated by large crowds in close proximity to decorative planters in the downtown district on the Fourth of July.
Appointing a posse of private citizens to patrol the planters was fraught with problems, not the least of which was the potential for liability on the part of the city should someone “aggressively challenge” the authority of someone sans badge or uniform telling them what they can or can’t do.
The unsightly orange construction barrier fences that cordoned the planters last year were roundly criticized for good reason. The planters were included in the Streetscape design to enhance the look of that section of downtown; draping them in orange plastic on the one day of the year that sees the largest pedestrian crowds is oxymoronic.
Council’s simple and frugal solution: Patriotic bunting.
As for other measures to turn the streets of Warren into Norman Rockwell scenes of puritan gentility through the temporary enactment of an open container ordinance, well, we think that’s much ado about very little, particularly when other festivals on other days frequently feature beer tents.
Having attended more Fourth of July Parades in Warren than we care to count, very seldom have we witnessed serious problems related to drinking. Enforcing temperance on a day of massive celebration would be a task approaching numbering the sands.
The only parade in memory that has succumbed to calamity was the victim of an act of Mother Nature, and not even City Council, powerful though it may be, is a match for her.