OIB Poll: Is City Policy For Parade Costs Fair?

A city policy covers 50 percent of costs for festivals and parades that require street closures and police security details. Is this a fair policy?

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  1. I did not vote. How about going to ask Mario Testa and Joe Ganim about all this. Please get back to us.-The of Bridgeport. Give us a break. Mario and Joe make these decisions. We are not stupid.

    1. Ok. I admit it. I goofed. My reply was hasty and not thought out well. Others here used their brains and came up with good points. Tying into the previous post about the Columbus Day parade,maybe parades,due to inherent operation, may be simply too expensive for financially strapped city and the financially strapped residents of that city. Maybe parades have “reinvent themselves” as mentioned in the previous post possibly becoming stationary fairs/festival which might lower the cost of Police. However,parades,fairs,festival are thought to add arts and culture which are deemed of some value for the success of a community but the investments made and the return on investment is difficult to quantify. On the other hand, is too much lost if cultural events diminish and there is a perceived or real loss in the quality of life within a community.

  2. Splitting the cost of police coverage (on overtime of course) is a fair expectation.

    Quick story.
    I was part of a group that started the annual carnival at Saint Andrew Church. We asked the police department to provide two officers for security. We were chided for our naivety and directed to the overtime office. We were advised that they determined that six officers would be required on-site, including a sergeant. They posted the overtime detail and there was coverage. We were fortunate that half the officers were parishioners and generously donated their time. I understand they received plenary indulgences.

    Connecticut is a state where the police unions have influenced legislation and laws, from the requirement to have police at road excavations to direct traffic, to keeping order at parades with a visible presence. Now, as John Lee reminds us, their department and outside overtime counts toward their MERS pension.

    Placing blame? Perhaps.

    In the initial decades of the Barnum Festival, local industry underwrote much of the cost. Remington Arms, Bullards, Bassick, etc made considerable contributions of money and volunteers. Now, instead of Bridgeport Brass and Bridgeport Machines, we have Bridgeport Rescue Mission, ‘houses of worship’, public housing and other entities which do not pay taxes or contribute income to residents.

    Times have changed. Have the Bridgeport Police killed the goose that laid the golden egg? Perhaps.

  3. No, it’s not fair! They should cover the entire cost of police presence at events. Did you know the city charges the school budget for police coverage at after school events? Do you know how many times I’ve heard “the city can’t afford more $$ for schools” Well until our schools are properly funded not one city dollar should be spent on entertainment. You could build all the new clubs, restaurants and theaters you want, if you build it they will come TO VISIT, but won’t stay until this city sees education and children’s education and FIRST CHANCE are valued above and beyond all else.

  4. Frank, in Buffalo and Syracuse NY they celebrate Juneteenth Parades are two of the nation largest Juneteenth celebrations, they are a two days fairs/festival at a central location in a public park and the parade which leads off with black police officers and black firefighters. Buffalo is the third-largest Juneteenth Festival in the world.

  5. Bob: Voting for candidates running for executive positions is like any other important decision-making process… It is not supposed to be like a coin-toss… The age-old (common sense) advice about decision-making is that it is better to do nothing than to make a bad decision… Voting for the lesser of evils when you have horrible candidates sets the stage for the acceptance of bad governance… It is a very bad decision to commit your vote — which is really an ENDORSEMENT — to a horrible candidate just because the alternative is just as horrible, or, even worse, simply because they are the “wrong” party… When politicians — such as Putin — get high voter turnouts and high numbers of votes in their “elections,” it makes them feel more secure and contributes toward the rest of the world becoming less repulsed by their regimes… Very dangerous… Similarly, for Bridgeport to turn out in high numbers for the “lesser of evils” candidates that is still going to treat Bridgeport like garbage, and most of the rest of the state not much better, is giving an endorsement to poor candidates and failing policies in general. It keeps the status quo and adds to the negative political/socioeconomic momentum that has come to characterize Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut… And it also sends a signal the rest of the country that we are really, really stupid and incapable of bringing forth good candidates and choosing the best one… It tells Washington that we are not worth paying attention to… By not showing up to vote for a horrible, lesser-of-evils candidate, we are holding our vote as a wild-card that can be used to force the presentation and election of better candidates in the future… Ditto for adding to vote tallies for do-nothing/inept/self-serving elected officials running for non-executive positions (this would include most of our state and federal delegations…).

    Stay home on November 6, Bridgeport! Don’t let Foley II and Dan II con you into another endorsement… Let the rest of the country be impressed by how disgusted Bridgeport voters are with the piss-poor candidates being offered by our Gold-Coast Oligarchy-controlled political process… That will make the political — and even, possibly the public-utility stock(!) — of the latter go down, and might even lead to some marginal changes for the better in Connecticut politics/governance in the future…

    But if we turn out and endorse “Dan” or “Tom” again, things will never change…

  6. Addendum: Sometimes not voting can be the most powerful votes… Let’s have an intentional, “electoral strike” in Bridgeport this time around and see if we can get some attention for our city and it’s 100,000(!) eligible voters… With our numbers, we should be at the top of the hill, not the bottom of the barrel…

    1. Jeff, it’s easy for you as a white male in America in 2018, the right to vote for people like my mother, father and grandparents was not so easy for them living in the South. The right to vote for blacks in America is still not guarantee by law in the U,S Constitution. To many people suffered trying to get the right to vote and would be a dishonor to those who sacrifice so much for me to have the right to vote, it’s an honor for me to vote even with hard times and bad candidates.

  7. Bob: I respect your service… Ron: I certainly respect your perspective and sentiment. And I cherish my “right” to vote —or not vote… And I honestly believe that on rare occasion, withholding our vote can be powerful, appropriate, and indicated. I believe that we are at such a point in Bridgeport…

  8. Jeff, remember the presidential election of 2016 when people said they were going to withhold their vote because they didn’t trust Hillary and wouldn’t vote for 45? How did that work out for America? That could be a precautionary tail about the need to vote, good, bad or indifferent.

  9. I don’t think the answer is to not to vote. The real answer in Bridgeport is that we need MORE people to vote- a lot more people to vote. Even in hotly contested Ganim “Second Chance” Election,if I remember correctly,the voter turnout in both the Dem primary and the general election was in the 30% area. It’s gets even worse in CC-only elections and TC elections-turnouts are in the single digits. With these low turnouts,absentee ballots make the difference and Testa knows that. We need to encourage and possibly even help organizations like Bridgeport Generation Now and others to increasing voter turnout. The only way political change will happen in Bridgeport is greater citizen participation in BPT governance. Throughout the United States,The Republican Party is enacting laws to make voting more difficult and The Republicans have gerrymandered voting districts to their advantage. We need more citizen participation. Low vote turnout levels insure that the status quo remains in power. Bridgeport is a perfect example. Hartford and all other CT politicians would really stand up if Bridgeport had 80% voter turnout. That is the only way Bridgeport will be heard.

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