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Thread: Mummers Parade

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    Tracey's Avatar
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    Default Mummers Parade

    Remember when we thought Mayor Nutter was going to be the savior of Philadelphia? Now he's pulling all sorts of obnoxious publicity stunts to get his fingers into that sweet pot of TARP bailout money. First it was the library and fire cuts, now it's the Mummers parade.

    Whether you like the Mummers or not, this is completely outrageous. The Mummers have worked all year, spent a lot of time and money preparing for this parade (those costumes cost a fortune). And now, at the 11th hour, the mayor suddenly says, "Nope, sorry, too expensive, can't do it. We won't tell you what the costs are, but trust me, it's a lot of money." If he were talking about next year's parade, that would be one thing, but to cut the legs out from under them three weeks before a parade that thousands of Mummers have been planning for all year ... that's unbelievable.

    Unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of, "so what, it's just the Mummers, they're a bunch of drunken jerks" reaction to the announcement. And it's a shame, because I think we really don't appreciate what we have here. Yeah, a lot of them are drunken jerks, but a lot of the clubs do some really amazing things. I didn't appreciate it until, about 10 years ago, I showed some clips of highlights of the Mummers parade to people from out of town. Before showing it to them, I explained, "It's a bunch of drunken jerks who would normally beat up a gay guy, dancing around in feathers and sequins." But when they saw the performances of some of the top string bands, fancies and fancy brigades, they were amazed by it. They had never seen anything like it, and after seeing it through their eyes I understand what a really special thing we have here. They don't have anything like this anywhere else.
    Last edited by Tracey; 12-18-2008 at 07:10 AM.
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    Did the last depression shut the Mummers down? Not to my knowledge .

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi mind fart View Post
    Did the last depression shut the Mummers down? Not to my knowledge .

    Jedi, the Mummers have stopped only TWICE EVER, once in 1917 during WW1, and once during 1934, possibly the height of the Depression. In 110 years, stopped only twice by circumstances beyond anyone's control.

    Tracey's correct in being upset about this rather last minute, knee-jerk reaction by "The Great Wonder". You all do realize that he also did pull funding for the fireworks at New Year's Eve at Penn's Landing. The Acting President managed to cobble together a committee of outside funding sources comprised of: a foundation, corporations and the Commonwealth. You may not think it's important to save the fireworks or the Mummer's Parade, but the hotels and restaurants do. The hotels and restaurants along or near the riverfront sell reservations based upon NYE fireworks and their proximity to them and can book months in advance for that. There was an economic impact study commissioned by the PLDC which showed how important to the City these fireworks are. Likewise, hotel rooms along the Broad St. route for the Parade are sold during an otherwise quiet time in the industry, especially in this City, and: keep employees working; keep rooms occupied which then generate tax receipts to the City; send people to restaurants to eat.

    I wonder if Nutter is finally starting to fit his head in doorways?
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    What you're saying is that Nutter has been successful in reducing the size of government and having private entities take over funding of things that are not essential governmental functions -- which is exactly what most people want their governments to do.

    (I do agree that cutting the parade at the last minute was a bad decision but it appears that this, too, will work out for the best -- the parade will happen but not take nearly as long as it usually does. Given that the disorganization and length of the parade is what most people complain about, another win-win here).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hospitalitygirl View Post
    ...You all do realize that he also did pull funding for the fireworks at New Year's Eve at Penn's Landing. ...
    Ouch... I had not heard that. Though I suppose it's a pin in the balloon to those who try to cast the Mummers thing into racial terms (the black mayor cancelling the white parade; or are the fireworks supposed to be a white thing too?)

    This is truly ridiculous. In a city like Philadelphia, tourism should be our life blood. This kind of nonsense could kill our 4th of July tourist trade: who's going to reserve a stay in Philadelphia for the Welcome America celebration if they know that Nutter could roll up the welcome mat two weeks before the date?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoshTrvls View Post
    What you're saying is that Nutter has been successful in reducing the size of government and having private entities take over funding of things that are not essential governmental functions -- which is exactly what most people want their governments to do.
    So the City shouldn't pay for what it benefits from directly and indirectly, then? Let some other sucker pay for it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracey View Post
    Ouch... I had not heard that. Though I suppose it's a pin in the balloon to those who try to cast the Mummers thing into racial terms (the black mayor cancelling the white parade; or are the fireworks supposed to be a white thing too?)

    This is truly ridiculous. In a city like Philadelphia, tourism should be our life blood. This kind of nonsense could kill our 4th of July tourist trade: who's going to reserve a stay in Philadelphia for the Welcome America celebration if they know that Nutter could roll up the welcome mat two weeks before the date?

    If you look at the life's blood of Philadelphia and divide into red blood cells and white blood cells, and corpuscles--then surely tourism is one of these elements! Something that Nutter's overpaid and highly educated brain trust seems not to understand. Maybe it should be left to us Temple grads...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoshTrvls View Post
    What you're saying is that Nutter has been successful in reducing the size of government and having private entities take over funding of things that are not essential governmental functions -- which is exactly what most people want their governments to do.

    (I do agree that cutting the parade at the last minute was a bad decision but it appears that this, too, will work out for the best -- the parade will happen but not take nearly as long as it usually does. Given that the disorganization and length of the parade is what most people complain about, another win-win here).
    What I am saying is that Mayor Nutter committed what would in a private context be considered a breach of a contract. The Mummers clubs undertook to spend a lot of time and a lot of money with the understanding that the city would provide certain funding in support of it. The mayor never gave any indication that the city would not live up to its end of the bargain until after the Mummers had already expended their time and money. At the very least, there would be promissory estoppel here in a private context, but I'm not sure that equitable contract applies to local governments. (And if anybody wants to tell me that this is not a contract, please start by telling me where you got your law degree. I got mine from University of Georgia, cum laude).

    There is absolutely winner when the city backs out of public events at the last minute. This will discourage others from incurring expenses for city events that might be cancelled by the city. Would you like to be the company that sponsors the Thanksgiving Day parade, knowing that on November 1 the city might decide that you can't have the parade?
    The Artist Formerly Known As No El

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    It's my understanding that Nutter took the prize money. It's also my understanding that these guys used to do it for free. While the timing is certainly undesirable, it's not an altogether terrible idea. Let some fo the taverns put up money. How much do they make during the mummer's parade in what, for most cities, would be a slow day (NY's Day)? Take up a collection, fund them yourselves. shortening the parade isn't a bad thing either. I'm glad to hear they found funding for the fireworks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracey View Post
    please start by telling me where you got your law degree. I got mine from University of Georgia, cum laude
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoshTrvls View Post
    What you're saying is that Nutter has been successful in reducing the size of government and having private entities take over funding of things that are not essential governmental functions -- which is exactly what most people want their governments to do.

    (I do agree that cutting the parade at the last minute was a bad decision but it appears that this, too, will work out for the best -- the parade will happen but not take nearly as long as it usually does. Given that the disorganization and length of the parade is what most people complain about, another win-win here).
    I am ok with the City jettisoning some of these functions and getting the private sector to fund them. The problem is, as you and others mentioned, the short notice. Preferably he should have said we are continuing funding this year (or a slightly reduced amount) but you need to start finding sources for the following year." Give them a year's lead time, not 2-3 months so they can budget and fundraise appropriately.

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    The Mummers agreed at a meeting last night to strut and strum their way up Broad Street from South Philly to City Hall in just 6 1/2 hours, compared with the usual eight- or nine-hour marathon...The String Bands, Fancies and Comics were supposed to be on the hook for $47,000 to help cover the cost of city services provided during the parade, Mummers' attorney George Badey said.

    But Brady swore he would raise $50,000 for the Mummers or contribute the funds himself if his fundraising efforts weren't successful, Badey said...Last month, Nutter cut $355,000 in parade prize money when he revised the city budget to help eliminate a $1 billion shortfall over the next five years. He said the Mummers were going to have to cover all of the city service costs as well - a number initially estimated to be as high as $760,000 for an eight- or nine-hour parade.

    That figure sent plenty of finely sequined feathers flyin'.

    During ensuing meetings, Mummers officials tried to convince Nutter that the 107-year-old parade was an economic asset that would collapse without city funding.

    Badey said the Mummers commissioned an economic-impact study of the parade, conducted by the Center for Forensic Economic Studies.

    The study concluded that the parade generated $9 million in revenue for the city, including $500,000 in net income for businesses and $994,000 in parade-related tourism spending, Badey said.

    "The Mummers parade is just like the Phillies [World Series] parade," Badey said.

    "Both bring in more money than it costs the city to hold the actual parade, but the Mummers were not supported like the Phillies."

    Oliver said it's unlikely the city will contribute any money to cover expenses for a 2010 New Year's Day parade. "We won't be able to keep this going without community support," Badey said. *
    Philly, the Mummers parade is on! | Philadelphia Daily News | 12/18/2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoshTrvls View Post
    University of California/Hastings College of the Law
    That was directed only at the people who would say that a contract has to be in writing. As a fellow J.D., I'm sure you are as tired as I am of hearing non-lawyers tell you with great authority what the law is.
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    Unless I'm mistaken - the complaints of Nutter giving such 'short notice' are really a bit below the belt - the only reason these issues (parade, libraries, fire houses, etc) are on the table now is due to the collapse of overall economy during the past 90+ days. I truly doubt Nutter had 'screw the mummers' on his To Do list in May and decided to sit on it until two months out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthStMan View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken - the complaints of Nutter giving such 'short notice' are really a bit below the belt - the only reason these issues (parade, libraries, fire houses, etc) are on the table now is due to the collapse of overall economy during the past 90+ days. I truly doubt Nutter had 'screw the mummers' on his To Do list in May and decided to sit on it until two months out.
    The national economic crisis isn't really all that new; it's been going on for more than a year. Our country has been in denial -- still is, somewhat.

    I think the mayors' desire for money from TARP had something to do with the timing. TARP, the $700 billion handout -- er, bailout -- to the financial community was passed on 10/8. Less than a month later, Nutter suddenly discovered a massive shortfall in the budget, started cutting high-profile, attention-getting budget items, and led several other big city mayors to DC to beg for some of those sweet TARP dollars (with the automakers following close behind).
    The Artist Formerly Known As No El

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracey View Post
    The national economic crisis isn't really all that new; it's been going on for more than a year. Our country has been in denial -- still is, somewhat.

    I think the mayors' desire for money from TARP had something to do with the timing. TARP, the $700 billion handout -- er, bailout -- to the financial community was passed on 10/8. Less than a month later, Nutter suddenly discovered a massive shortfall in the budget, started cutting high-profile, attention-getting budget items, and led several other big city mayors to DC to beg for some of those sweet TARP dollars (with the automakers following close behind).

    Pretty much the same thoughts I have about all of this.

    The poorer we look the bigger the handout......er, bailout.

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    I wasn't sure which thread to put this in and decided to just go with this one.
    Mayor Nutter: There will be a Mummers Parade | Philadelphia Daily News | 12/05/2009

    ...<snip> The Mummers were clearly frustrated that City Representative Melanie Johnson and other Nutter administration officials could not put a number on how much they expect the parade to cost in city services.

    "There's no number," said George Badey III, a Fralinger String Band member and chairman of SavetheMummers.com. "When you have a negotiation, it's kind of important."

    Badey said the city's withdrawal of $336,000 in prize money for the 2009 parade, typically used by Mummers to pay for costumes and other expenses, has made it difficult for the clubs to prepare....<snip>
    and

    ...Johnson said she could not provide a "straight number" on parade costs because city officials are still looking for ways to trim expenses.

    "We didn't come to terms on dollars or anything like that but we're still working," said Johnson, who will meet again with the Mummers next week. "We'll continue to meet if we have to, as we did last year, right up until the end."...

    They shouldn't be looking for ways to trim expenses, but rather have come up with a line item charge for things and allow organizations to pick and choose what they need, starting from a minimum level necessary.

    How is it that a year after this started, they're still unable to come up with a way to set fees and negotiate properly?

    How are the various organizations that have events here, and who in all likelihood cash-challenged themselves at this point, able to budget properly for costs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hospitalitygirl View Post

    They shouldn't be looking for ways to trim expenses, but rather have come up with a line item charge for things and allow organizations to pick and choose what they need, starting from a minimum level necessary.
    Um, how's that going to work?

    City: "It's $50,000 to put up and take down the barricades."
    Mummers: "Well, then forget the barricades. People can just join the parade. And we'll try to make sure that the vehicles don't run over any small kids."

    City: "It's $50,000 to pick up trash afterwards."
    Mummers: "That's OK, we'll just tell people to bring their own trash bags."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoshTrvls View Post
    Um, how's that going to work?

    City: "It's $50,000 to put up and take down the barricades."
    Mummers: "Well, then forget the barricades. People can just join the parade. And we'll try to make sure that the vehicles don't run over any small kids."

    City: "It's $50,000 to pick up trash afterwards."
    Mummers: "That's OK, we'll just tell people to bring their own trash bags."
    Did you miss the part where I stated that there needed to be a certain minimum level of coverage? And why should events be confined to using city services, especially if they can find garbage disposal for less? Or someone else to set up barricades?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hospitalitygirl View Post
    Did you miss the part where I stated that there needed to be a certain minimum level of coverage? And why should events be confined to using city services, especially if they can find garbage disposal for less? Or someone else to set up barricades?
    You forgot that Philly's a Union town? Yeah, that will always haunt us(and other cities around the world)

    But getting around that, these issues pop up:


    1) Who would to be blame for if things are a mess the next day after the event?

    2) Would the 'outsource' services be able to get things done in x amount of time?

    3) Would they have enough workers to cover the event?


    In the end, its better for everyone (sometimes) for the city to take care of it....


    Now the Convention Center is another issue...

 

 

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