CORNING - After hearing complaints throughout the city about the recent Parade of Lights event, the City Council unanimously voted Monday to request the Gaffer District to discontinue future stationary parades.

“My concern is we, the City Council, had nothing to do with the stationary parade,” said Councilman Frank Coccho, D-6.”It wasn’t our call, therefore we should not be blamed for it. I can tell you I got whipped a few times (by people) after the parade.”

Coccho said the resolution, which passed 9-0 by the City Council, exonerates the council from that decision.

“It wasn’t our parade. It wasn’t our call to have a stationary parade,” Coccho said. “That’s the purpose of me bringing this resolution. Hopefully we won’t have another stationary parade.”

Councilman Frank Muccini, R-5, agreed.

“I had a lot of business owners give me grief over this parade, and I said, 'not my parade',” Muccini said. “Owners were upset.”

Coleen Fabrizi, executive director of the Corning Gaffer District, said the original intention was not to hold a stationary parade.

“The decision to try a stationary parade was made due to a lack of volunteers and for safety concerns,” Fabrizi said. “For next year's event we expect to find a large group of trained volunteers to hold a traditional Parade of Lights.”

Fabrizi said any potential volunteers can call the Gaffer District at 607-937-6292, and ask for Ginny Coon, or go online in early 2019 at http://www.gafferdistrict.com.

Corning Mayor Bill Boland he, like most council members, heard loud and clear from the community that people and business owners want the traditional Parade of Lights.

“My sense is that we can look forward to the Gaffer District harnessing volunteers that are needed to do it effectively and safely,” Boland said. “I think that next year we can definitely look forward to having a (traditional) parade.”

Corning Police Chief Jeff Spaulding agreed the Gaffer District did not have sufficient volunteers for this year's event to meet the public safety concerns.

“They chose to conduct a stationary parade to reduce the risk,” Spaulding said. “The problems were compounded by the weather, the rain and the ice. A lot of the vendors cancelled at the last moment, or were no shows.”

Spaulding said there were easily more than 400 comments regarding the Parade of Lights on social media after the event and the overwhelming majority was of negative nature.

“People are angry,” Coccho said. “I didn’t read all 400, but I read probably half and you are right, many of those blamed the City of Corning.”

City Manager Mark Ryckman said it is the City of Corning’s job to make sure the event is as safe as possible, not to run the event.

“The city is not putting on the parade,” Ryckman said. “We are just there in a support function. The Gaffer District just needs to come up with more volunteers for the event.”