There will be a Cortaca 2014 -- for now

By Jillian Marshall

November 20, 2013 Updated Nov 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM EDT

Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After Cortland's streets were trashed and dozens of people arrested on Saturday, the city's Common Council turned down a motion to ban the annual Cortaca Jug game, for at least next year.

In front of a packed house Tuesday night, Cortland's Common Council rejected the resolution to suspend Cortaca until 2015. The issue failed by a 6-2 vote.

Alderwoman Linda Ferguson said suspending the game now is putting a "little tiny band aid on a very big wound."

The resolution to suspend Cortaca failed. But a resolution to create a study group comprised of city officials and leaders from SUNY Cortland was unanimously approved.

"There's a lot of people, myself included, who are very disappointed in some of the actions from Saturday," said Cortland Mayor Brian Tobias. "So, what we need to do, we need to address not just what happened this weekend but also future potential events, what we expect out of people and how to hold people accountable."

But the future of the 55-year tradition is still unsteady after last weekend's events of partying and destruction.

Residents lined up Tuesday to talk about how the events made them feel, using words like fear, threatened and scared.

While some members of the community -- and the Common Council -- wanted to see the game suspended for a year, they offered up other suggestions to the council. For example, not allowing bars to open at 8 a.m. and combining parents weekend with Cortaca weekend.

"I honestly feel that a one-year suspension would give the entire community a chance to look at what happened and really make a difference and send a message not only of the hill, but of Cortland in general, that this will never ever happen again," said Cortland resident Abigail Cleary.

Chris Spadolini, owner of Daily Grind, a Cortland convenience store, sees the events from over the weekend as a tragedy, but something that could be transformed into a controlled event.

"I think they need to encourage the kids to gather in the downtown area rather than trying to find their own place to party, which is what seems to create all the problems because they're going anywhere they can," Spadolini said.

Spadolini gave the option of closing the streets in downtown Cortland.

SUNY Cortland's president, Erik J. Bitterbaum, attended the meeting to publicly apologize for the acts of some of his students on Saturday.

Authorities say of the 80 people arrested; only a handful were actually Cortland students.

Tuesday's actions don't mean Cortaca 2014 is guaranteed. Cortland officials said they want to hear what the committee finds out before making any rushed decisions.