Steubenville City Council reprimanded for “public tirade” on nutcrackers | News, Sports, Jobs


File photo by Linda Harris

One evening when the council said goodbye to three of its members, the creator of the Nutcracker Village took the members to task on Tuesday for explaining at their meeting two weeks ago why so few life-size creations had remained. at the fort without telling him. first.

Mark Nelson told the board that his family and business “were the target of an orchestrated attack from this very intimidating chair that damaged my reputation, my business and a very, very big event.”

“This advice described me as a cranky or the ‘Mr. Potter ‘from Steubenville, and it pains me, because our family has always regarded Steubenville not for what it was but for what it can be, ”he said. “… People confronted me and my family, spoke badly about us, and swore not to continue doing business with my company.” “

The meeting in question, on November 30, featured improvised appeals from several council members urging Nelson and officials at Historic Fort Steuben to resolve disputes that had led to the relocation of approximately 180 of the Nutcrackers out of the park to the 100 blocks from North and South Fourth streets and Market Street.

He complained that the council had never contacted him or his family to understand the full significance of the story and that he had not had the “professional decency” to invite him to attend what. he called it “their public tirade”.

He said the fort offered him $ 5,000 to put 60 nutcrackers at the fort for the Christmas season, but he refused them, saying he had never been paid, nor asked to be paid, for that a nutcracker is exposed. And after that offer was turned down, he said the fort offered to rent him the sidewalk and the area around the fountain for $ 10,000, which he also turned down because it didn’t include the cabins. from the advent market, toilets, access to the visitors center, amphitheater or parking lot. many.

“We see this project as a continuously growing event,” he said. “Following our vision and the original objective of this local project, we felt that it was not wise to invest in the rental of sidewalks, but rather to invest in more infrastructure, advertising, lighting for downtown buildings, Christmas trees and, of course, more nutcrackers. “

“Since the first nutcracker was placed in the city, my family has designed and built over 185 nutcrackers valued at $ 5,000 per sculpture, not including the economic impact on the community,” said Nelson.

“I have personally invested hundreds of thousands of my own money in the Nutcracker Village of Steubenville. This event obviously takes place during the Christmas season which is a time to get together with friends and family, and my family and I have sacrificed our time with our friends and family as we have spent countless hours seeing may the project go off without a hitch, as families from all over can come to Steubenville and enjoy the holiday event.

In other cases, City Manager Jim Mavromatis presented the three outgoing city council members – 2nd Ward Councilor Craig Petrella, 4th Ward Councilor Scott Dressel and 6th Ward Councilor Bob Villamagna – a engraved timepiece.

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