Tonawanda chooses safety over popularity
For years, residents of the Tonawandas have looked forward to the festival – it’s penciled into their seasonal activities.
However, this year, the City of Tonawanda Common Council and City of Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi made the decision to close the festival at 10 p.m. on weekdays – rather than the usual 11 p.m.
Officials unanimously voted to make this decision, based on the motto “safety first.”
Police Chief John Ivancic and Fire Chief Charles Stuart both supported this decision and agree that nothing good happens at Canal Fest after 10 p.m.
The council is hoping that by reducing the foot traffic in the area by 10 p.m., the festival can be conducted with as little mischief as possible.
Now - what about North Tonawanda? When this decision was made, North Tonawanda was not in full support of the 10 p.m. shut down.
Perhaps North Tonawanda officials do not feel a safety threat is posed in their city after 10 p.m.?
Maybe the downtown nightlife, which exists in North Tonawanda on a nightly basis, makes the late night events seem a bit more practical.
The crowd that congregates on the North Tonawanda side, which mainly gathers in the beer tent and in front of the concert venue, seems to just want to focus on their next pitcher of beer, instead of committing a crime or causing mischief. While on the Tonawanda side of the canal – young adults, at the ripe young age of 14 years old – seem to be ready to cause a ruckus when the night falls.
Should the responsibility of maintaining safety and keeping crime rates low really fall on the city during the festival? Or should we call on the parents of these young adults?
Yes, the decision to shut down a portion of Tonawanda at 10 p.m. was the right call to make in order to ensure safety for city residents.
However, if there were parental supervision provided for these teenagers, maybe the city wouldn’t have had to limit the fun for the rest of the city.
Should kids that age really be out after 11 p.m. unsupervised? What happened to a curfew?
Maybe – we could double up on safety this year and the parents of these teens could step up to help the city by offering a little parental control of their own.
City officials were able to place a curfew, now why can’t the parents?