Jun 5, 2009

Fireworks over Hooterville. photo by JOSHUA TRUJILLO / Arizona Daily Star 1996 Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. H. L. Mencken As regular readers know, I am a critic of our local government. Our city government is made up of people whose chief concern is to feel good about themselves. The beauty of this governing style is that every decision becomes the right decision. The latest dust up here in Hooterville is over our annual 4th of July fireworks display. The geniuses at City Hall decided to cancel the event to save $65,000. After all, times are tough and the City is broke. What the City didn't cancel is the real story. It didn't cancel about $300,000 in support for other events, events which benefit much smaller constituencies than does the fireworks display. Demographically speaking, Hooterville breaks down this way. 50% White, non-Hispanic. 40% Hispanic (overwhelmingly Mexican in origin) 5% Black 4% Native American. 1% something else. So, you can see that when the City canned the fireworks, but chose to give thousands to the Juneteenth celebration, it rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way. As did money for the Ceasar Chavez Day celebration, Fiesta Grande and the Waila Festival, a Native American dance festival. Each of these events is important and worthy of civic support. The point lost on our leaders is that when times are tough and cuts must be made, simply choosing the option that makes you feel good about yourself, isn't good enough. Our kindly old mayor tried to explain things this way; "...the city looked at the value of the fireworks and realized they only last for a couple minutes and it "all goes up at once." Presumably then, if the City spaced out the rockets a bit more, the fireworks display would have made the cut. Another councilperson added, "...the Fourth of July was targeted, rather than some of the more limited-appeal activities, because it's hard to pick between events." Someone failed to tell her that governing isn't always easy. She also went on to say, "Every one of these things I would argue strongly for," Trasoff said of the city-funded festivals. "There are very few I would argue against." Maybe it's just me, but that is the oddest quote. Trasoff is a former news reader. Without a script, she is inclined to say the strangest things. Anyway, several local companies and organizations stepped in to pony up the money, so the fireworks are back on. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

13 comments:

Nan Patience said...

it's hard to know where to draw the line when it comes to an entertainment budget in these frightful times. Lord knows we could all use some entertainment, but what passes for entertainment in the minds of our leaders, I'd rather wash the kitchen floor.

Kurt said...

What they should have done was come up with another form of entertainment to take the place of the fireworks, something also exciting but not expensive.

tut-tut said...

Oh my; what do you remember about summer from childhood? The screech, the dull boom, the flash. I'd say keep the fireworks and forget about the other stuff. Sorry.

Barbara said...

I'm glad you got your fireworks back. That does seem sort of un-American canceling the July 4th celebration. Maybe they picked the one thing they knew somebody else would step up to pay for if it was cut.

Megan said...

It's a Friday night and the Dodgers are at home, so I will be getting a fireworks display tonight.

The "organization" (funny how Vin calls it that) is doing this all season, apparently.

I don't know whether to be indignant at the amount of money they have or just innocently happy that I get fireworks on random Fridays?

Reya Mellicker said...

If you get really disgusted with local politics, why not pack up Mrs. Sneeds and all the Sneed children and their children and come to DC. We have fabulous fireworks here that will never ever be cancelled.

Also I barbecue ribs for the whole neighborhood on the 4th. This year I'm going to add a flourish - a Kansas City style barbecue sauce. There will be potato salad and watermelon and pasta salad and a bunch of plain old very nice people sitting around on the back porch, chowing down and chatting, just like every year.

You are invited! I'm serious.

mum said...

I'll post pics of last year's July 14th fireworks on July 4th if it'll make you feel better. Nothing much I can do about your local politicians, though. It's elections to the European Parliament over here today. My husband says he's voting for Obama.

mum said...

Sorry, I should explain that: his favorite local candidate is from Algeria and looks a little smidgen bit like your President.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I'm thinking that getting private companies and organizations to ante up for the fireworks probably was the intent all along. some fox on the city council knew that the chances of finding private interests to pony up for the city's juneteeth, ceasar chavez, etc celebrations was as likely a a snowball surviving in hooterville this time of year...

whatcha think??

Anonymous said...

Please post a picture of the something else.

Merle Sneed said...

It's possible that the City canceled the fireworks knowing that someone would steop in to save them, but I don't think they are that clever.

Nan Patience said...

un-patriotic to cancel the fireworks? oh dear lord

Steve said...

Actually, Merle, I think I disagree with you on this one. First of all, I suspect Barbara and Mouse are right -- the city probably targeted the fireworks because they knew someone would step in and fill the gap. But more to the point, if something is going to be cut, why not cut the thing that will cause everyone equal pain, rather than shutting out one minority group or another? Based solely on what I read here, it seems the city did the right thing.