Christmas lights will decorate the front of the municipal building on Seaman Road this season following some complaints by residents that they miss seeing them adorn the property in previous years.
The most recent complaint was from Frederick Gerke, of N. Eastmoreland Drive, who appeared before council at a meeting on Dec. 3, to ask why the city stopped decorating the trees at the municipal complex for Christmas.
“I talked to a few kids, and they miss the lights. And I do, too,” said Gerke. “I like to go around to the streets and see them.”
Gerke said the decorations, at the very least, would provide some well deserved holiday cheer for municipal employees, who he said are always warm and welcoming when he goes into their offices.
“Everyone in this building does a fantastic job. I enjoy coming here,” he said. “People in this city are great employees. I just think you should honor the people and put some lights out there to enjoy.”
Seferian said he decided a few years ago that the city would decorate a large tree on city owned property at the corner of Wheeling Street and Navarre Avenue for Christmas instead of lighting up the municipal building because more traffic would see the festive display.
“It was like the welcome area from the City of Oregon for the people who passed it,” said Seferian. He acknowledged that there have been more calls recently to decorate the front of the municipal building as well.
“A couple of other people have made mention that maybe we should show more holiday spirit here,” said Seferian.
His vehicle, he added, is full of Christmas lights he was planning to fix and use to decorate the front of the municipal building.
“I’m taking them home to fix each of those strands,” said Seferian. “I will probably be up pretty late tonight and tomorrow so I can put those lights up outside this building. It’s not going to be a big tree we’re going to put out there, but we’re going to put up a smaller tree. The big tree is still going to be on the corner of Wheeling and Navarre. But there will be some lights here. You might not be as happy as you were with a big tree, but maybe it will make you a little happier.”
“Anything you can do to make this place look nice for people going by,” said Gerke. “I’m proud of the City of Oregon. I’d like to see a little bit if spirit. You have great employees, great workers out there. I’d like to see a little happiness in the front.”
“I’ll see how many I can get fixed,” said Seferian. “We paid kind of full price for those. But this year, after Christmas, we’re going to buy a few more lights when they go on sale for about a third of the price. So this year, we’re going to have some. Maybe next year, we’ll have a little bit more.”
Gerke said perhaps residents may also want to donate lights.
“Lights on trees and bushes, just to help out,” said Gerke.
“I respect that,” said Seferian. “We’ve gone exclusively to LED lights. Let’s see how it works out.”
“You lit the place up tonight,” Councilman Mike Sheehy said to Gerke before he thanked him for coming to the council meeting.