No Budget Love for Parade
"It is one of the items under consideration, yes," Council President Rashid Burney answered resident Ralph Corniffe.
Burney said the expense was on the list of the council's Finance Committee's recommendations, and was also a cut recommended by the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee. Burney said the current budget includes costs for last year's parade and the recommendations would impact this year's parade.
The celebration costs about $50,000. Fireworks and a concert are usually part of the day, in addition to the parade.
The parade was once a highlight for most of Central Jersey, with as many as eight or nine municipalities contributing to it. Over the years neighboring towns dropped both support and participation. When North Plainfield decided to hold its own parade, the city had to change the route, which formerly proceeded from Johnston Avenue and East Front Street to Front and Somerset streets, where it turned north to end at a reviewing stand in front of Somerset School. The new Plainfield route ended on Front Street between Park and Madison avenues, with a reviewing stand on the sidewalk.
The City Council passed legislation to form a new, Plainfield-only Independence Day Committee, but to the best of this writer's knowledge, only an ad hoc committee worked on parade plans.
Burney said tonight's budget meeting was originally intended for "forward-looking discussion" of the FY 2010 budget year that begins July 1, but because the current budget for the year ending June 30 has not yet passed, the meeting will be devoted to "gaining consensus" for budget items.
The budget meeting is 8 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave. The schedule calls for more meetings on March 17, 24 and 31, as well as April 7 and 14.