Groups shouldn’t have to pay to be in a parade

EDITOR:

We are all familiar with the parade that Gladstone hosts every Fourth of July as many of us go with family and friends. Most of us enjoy the many floats and vehicles that participate is this annual parade event. You may or may not know that the City of Gladstone charges every participant a fee to be in this parade.

Fees vary depending on if they are profit or non-profit organizations. Is Gladstone that money hungry that there is a need for these charges, or is this a common thing for cities to charge participants to be in the parade? I am surprised the city don’t put a barricade around the activities in the park and charge everyone to go in or to watch the so called fireworks display they have.

My concern with these fees they have for the parade is they even charge public safety a $10 fee per vehicle they put in the parade. This is very disturbing to me as I belong to a local fire department. Our fire department was going to place vehicles in the parade until we were advised of this fee.

Our fire department does not charge for any services we provide. Every call we go to is provided by volunteers who use there own time and money to get certified to become a fire fighter and never get paid or reimbursed for there time or expenses.

So what makes the City of Gladstone think they need to charge public safety departments a fee to participate in their parade? As a fire department we decided to boycott this year’s parade due to this fee. All the money our department does have is used to purchase equipment and training for our volunteers, so why should we take from that money to put vehicles in a parade?

This is an issue that the City of Gladstone should really reconsider. I know my children really like to see and hear the fire trucks as they go by. It is something that almost every kid at one time wanted to be….a firefighter.

And as a volunteer fire department we really depend on the future children to consider taking the many hours of training to possibly become a firefighter who may someday come to your rescue in a time of need. If this is something that disappears from the parades how can we insure the future of fire departments?

Please help voice your opinion on these fees for public safety vehicles. Lets put a stop to these charges so we can get the most out of parades and also our future.

Uriah Kuhlman

Gladstone