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Getting our money's worth on parades

The Administration and Council have been arguing back and forth lately about parades -- whether the city can afford to pick up the costs for them and if so, how much. The DN today recommends a conversation more focused on whether it's worth it for the city to pick up the tab for parades, and on drawing distinctions between which parades merit financial support, and which don't.

The city needs to figure out criteria for events that deserve some public support. Should tourist-heavy events get preference over smaller community-based events for those who live here? (That would seem to be the thinking in the city's decision to pick up the $300,000 costs of Welcome America!) Should economic benefits be a factor in the level of public support that events get?

The editorial also briefly raises the question of whether the city works hard enough to keep parade costs low, in terms of police and cleanup crew deployment. We noticed this line in an Inquirer story yesterday:

Last year, the city billed [Equality Forum Director Malcolm] Lazin $18,000 for police and cleanup services during the organization's annual street festival on Market Street in Old City. Lazin avoided those costs this year by moving the festival to the privately owned Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties.

Sounds like Lazin realized the city wasn't exactly cutting him a deal.

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