Monday, April 28, 2008

Dueling Parades

Click to enlarge.

You can tell LSSE Director Linda Chalfant was really enthused about running a July 4'th Parade a few years back:
From: Chalfant, Linda
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:45 PM
To: Del Castilho, Barry; Musante, John
Subject: The Parade

I just received two phone calls from Harry Brooks asking if LSSE would
handle the July 4th parade next year. Since he called twice - I told

- my knowledge of parades is nil

- this is an extremely busy time for the department and we struggle to
handle all of the special events that we currently have in addition to
the summer programs

- it is unlikely that we could handle this additional assignment without
adding staff

Linda Chalfant, Director
Amherst Leisure Services and Supplemental Education

Considering the town has not put on a July 4’th Parade in 32 years they are either overly confident, overly ambitious or overly naive.

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the largest most famous parades in America and it is all of three to three-and-a-half hours.

But little old Amherst is having their Parade from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm? And how much as that going to cost in hidden police labor? (We currently pay $1,200 for our less than two-hour parade). And note they check off “town crews” for cleanup…just another hidden cost.


Mark said...

Not very subtle are they? The parade will be all day and they will need the next day to clean up - there goes fitting your parade in on the 4th.

Looks drawn up in haste on the 23rd - the day of the select board meeting.

When did you submit your request?

LarryK4 said...

Not very subtle at all.

Ours went in on Friday the 25'th (but I'm not sure you can reserve more than a year ahead of schedule) and Select board has to vote to "close the roads" for any Parade, although that just has to happen two weeks prior.

O'Reilly said...

The issue of which organization filed first is a red herring.

It is common knowledge and has been published in local newspapers that the Parade Committee would like a permit to run their annual Independence Day Parade in 2008 and 2009.

The fact the LSSE has also applied for a permit is simply of matter of two entities wanting a permit to run a parade.

If the LSSE has no intention of organizing a parade that lasts eight (8) hours then they have another reason for filing what is apparently a fraudulent (dishonest; based on fraud or deception) application for a parade permit.

Let's presume they want to re-affirm the myth that Amherst cannot hold two Independence Day Parades. Why would they be so selfish as to exclude the Parade Committee from an opportunity to hold a parade on that day?

You'd think they try to coordinate so they could share the cleanup effort. Maybe they're concerned that if they cooperate, residents will prefer the parade that excludes protests.

Anyway, this ploy will not stand a legal challenge and it will make those who perpetrate it look foolish and dishonest.

You see how quickly the self-righteous who are purportedly protecting the right of free speech are ready to crowd you out of your opportunity for the same with their fast footwork?

Shame on Larry Shaffer for Gerry Wiess for dragging Linda Chalfant into this dispute.

It appears this application was approved before last Wednesday’s Select Board Meeting which means the Select Board did not have an opportunity to deliberate the policy before it was decided by Shaffer and probably Weiss.

Will someone please explain to Weiss the his vote is worth one, the same as other Select Board members and the Larry Shaffer’s vote is worth zero, although his recommendations should surely be heard, deliberated and decided on by the elected Select Board.

My Shaffer and Weiss back room deals must stop.

Amhfan said...

Who signed this application? It looks like someone named Lauren?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I have a host of questions about the town’s parade application besides just the enormous amount of time they say they require for their Protest Parade. Signature looks like “Lauren” for sure; certainly not Linda Chalfant the one supposedly making the ‘Reservation Request’ and also the ‘Responsible individual in charge’

Last year it took the Town Manager over a month to approve our permit and get it back to us in the mail (after the Police Chief had signed off). Theirs had a pretty quick turnaround (less than an hour).

Note the Chief did not mention if additional police are needed and since I assume they are closing roads it’s safe to assume you will need extra police.

I also wonder if they bothered to attach a map of the route since the application requires “a map detailing the entire route of the event.”

And I also question if you can reserve an event more than a year in advance. We were always told you could not, so we would take out our permit and submit it on the very first business day after the 4’th of July.

Amhfan said...

It's tranparently a sham designed to prevent any one else from having another parade on the same day.
The officials who participated in this twisting of the process should be called on the carpet for it. And I will personally be really angry if tax dollars are spent paying
for something we got for free before.

maryd said...

Lauren? Looks like it could be Laurence Shaffer to me. Has some similarity to his signature below. I know my signature changes when I rush but has parts that stay the same.

An all day parade, huh. Should be interesting to say the least.