Parade location decision would have wide-ranging effects

Published 8:34 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2009

As a former Suffolk planning commissioner and lifelong resident of the city, I have been afforded the privilege to interact closely with citizens and key city officials.

Therefore, when I learned about the proposal to move the Christmas parade to northern Suffolk, my first thoughts were about the citizens of downtown Suffolk.

First and foremost, I must say that the decision to move the Christmas parade should not be made by a select group of individuals. A decision of this magnitude affects the masses, and their points of view must be considered and recognized before any action is taken.

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Given the fact that many of our citizens worked for months to campaign for City Council members, stood in long lines to cast their votes and continuously support the city’s events, it seems only fair that they be given the opportunity to have a say in decisions that will change their community.

After reviewing the cited reasons for moving the parade to northern Suffolk, I am still left wondering exactly how the move will benefit the citizens. How will this affect those who have embraced this city tradition and captured so many irreplaceable memories?

With northern Suffolk on the rise, I am certain that many downtown residents feel that they are being robbed of one of the few festive events that come their way.

To move the parade would be to move a part of Suffolk’s history.

Furthermore, merely proposing the idea to move the parade to northern Suffolk has sparked controversy that is further dividing the city. Many downtown residents are left thinking that their community is not good enough or fit to host the annual event that many have enjoyed and taken part in for so long.

They believe that their community is deteriorating, while northern Suffolk is constantly improving and growing.

In conclusion, such a proposal should be thought about very carefully, in that the effect of such a decision will impact more than just the location of the Christmas parade.