CORTLAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Cortland has decided that murals on city streets will be temporarily postponed.
Currently, at the intersection of Court Street and Main Street, there is a “Black Lives Matter” mural painted in yellow. According to Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin, people have been performing burnouts with their vehicles at this intersection in a form of protest against the message.
Tuesday night, the Cortland City Council voted to paint over any existing murals on city streets and to postpone any plans to have others until April 2021.
A group called “Back the Blue Cortland” had already received permission to paint its own mural on Court Street, but now the city will not allow the group to paint it this coming weekend.
The group planned to paint a message in support of law-enforcement right in front of the police station on Court Street.
Tobin says these murals have caused a division in the city and he fears public safety could be at risk if both murals are allowed to exist.
“This would not be best for our community at this time,” Tobin told NewsChannel 9 on Wednesday.
The city will paint over the “Black Lives Matter” message in the coming days. The City Council will spend the next few months coming up with policies and procedures when it comes to messages painted on city streets.
Timothy Bennett, owner of Fun Flicks Indoor and Outdoor Movies, paid for the paint for the “Black Lives Matter” mural and says he has offered to pay for it to be covered up so it doesn’t cost taxpayer money.