Monroeville is facing a huge budget shortfall, and we need all members of council to think creatively to solve this problem. Councilwoman Lois Drumheller, at the first budget meeting, Nov. 1, suggested that Monroeville look for alternative funding for our Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades and for our fireworks. Councilwoman Drumheller was attacked for her idea. She was labeled as unpatriotic. In fact, speakers were lined up to attack her idea at the Nov.15 budget meeting.
She was not suggesting that the parades be canceled. She was merely suggesting Monroeville find other ways to pay for it.
What happened next was interesting. While several were busy lining up the political ambush, councilwoman and deputy mayor Diane Allison went to work. Ms. Allison is the council liaison for the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, or the CVB. Ms. Allison approached the CVB about that organization funding the parades and fireworks. As it turns out, the parades and fireworks are good for local tourism and the CVB is supposed to use its funds to promote Monroeville tourism. Ms. Allison was able to announce at the Nov.15 budget meeting that CVB gave preliminary approval to fund a significant portion of our parades and fireworks.
Now council can use resources spent for the parades and fireworks to help maintain essential services and Monroeville can maintain its patriotic celebrations. Nothing was cut, but alternatives were found because some members are looking for solutions while others are looking to cause political embarrassment.
JOHN G. YAKIM
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