As promised, the city will hold a public meeting this upcoming Monday regarding special events. This will be the community’s chance to have a say on which five special events the city will sponsor in the upcoming fiscal year.
As the number of special events held in Globe continues to increase (currently there are roughly 23), the city continues to feel the strain of providing services for them.
For instance, setting up the luminaries at this last year’s Festival of Lights required extra hours from both the public works and probation departments. Other events, such as SummerFest and the parades, require street closures, barricades and the assistance of the police and fire departments.
Kip Culver, executive director of the Historic Globe Main Street Program and facilitator of city events, gave a presentation on this issue at the last city council meeting in December.
“We have a real challenge with events,” he explained. “Although we love to do them all the way around, and up and down, and crosswise, we’ve had some problems with city staffing demands on weekends, particularly the burden that’s put on public works and the police department.”
In turn, city employees who assist during community events on weekends are sometimes unavailable for regular duties during the week because they’ve exceeded their work hours.
“That has put a pressure point on us as to how generous the city can be for every given event that may come knocking on the door, and additionally the increasing questions of liability,” Culver added. “What event is actually sponsored by the city, and therefore what event is the city carrying the risk for?”
In response to these questions, the city is limiting the number of special events it will sponsor to five. The city will plan for each of them, factor them into the budget cycle and provide services for them, free of charge. On the other hand, any additional special events held throughout the year may require fees or independently contracted services.
Keep in mind that not all special events will be affected by this process. Events that do not require street closure or city services will remain unaffected, such as the Globe-Miami Farmers’ Market and the Easter Parade.
It’s a tough call deciding which events the city ought to sponsor, because most of these events are recreational, cultural or educational and either benefit a given cause in the community or a nonprofit. Some events may not continue without the city’s support.
To involve the community in the city’s decision process, a public meeting is set for Jan. 12 to discuss and prioritize which special events the city should sponsor. Culver will facilitate the meeting, and each attendee will be given a ballot to fill out and voice which events should be high priority.
Ultimately, the city council will have the final say on the matter, but their decision will be informed by the ballots and input collected from the public at Monday’s meeting.
The meeting on special events will be held Monday, Jan. 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Globe City Council Chambers.
Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.