For two local cultural organizations it was “the best of times; it was the worst of times” at last night’s council meeting. For the Struthers Library Theatre it was the very best of times. City council gave its approval to the concept of giving away 8 feet of Liberty Street sidewalk, 4 square feet on the corner of Liberty and Third Street sidewalk, the entire sidewalk and two parking spaces in front of the present historic theatre and to accommodate their vision of a new marquee and a grand Struthers Library Theatre Plaza.
For the Crary Art Gallery the times were not so good. They, too, had come for city council approval of a marquee. They wanted to repurpose the previously rejected over-size building sign into a marquee. The representative from the Crary Art Gallery acknowledged they had made a mistake in not following proper procedure and erecting the sign before it met zoning approval.
They had apparently not met the penance requirement because, unlike the proceeding Struthers Warren Library presentation, Mayor Cashman interrupted the presenter to direct him to stick to the central point of erecting a marquee and not focus on the importance of the gallery to Warren.
He was further chastised for not taking the request to the zoning committee even though it had been established that there is no zoning ordinance regulating marquees. The motion to “table” the request was approved by council in order to give them time to consult with the city solicitor to determine whether Crary marquee meets with city approval.
For those going before city council-it may be “the best of times; it may be the worst of times”-it just depends.