Some things in Hamtramck just never go away.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, an old chestnut of an argument resurfaced. Back in the 1980s this was always an ongoing debate: Should the city require the Polish Day Parade people to pay for the cost of police and other city services needed to make the parade take place?
The parade people have always said that they don’t have the money, and if the city pressed the issue, they will simply take their parade to another city.
City officials have argued the city can’t afford the costs, and it’s unfair to allow the parade to piggyback on the Labor Day Festival, which has traditionally covered the cost of the parade.
At Tuesday’s council meeting a request came up to allow Jos. Campau to be closed off for the parade. It seemed simple enough, but Councilmember Robert Zwolak insisted on modifying the permission by requiring the parade to pay for whatever it costs the city to host the event.
As it turns out, the parade folks may have no choice in the matter because Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag said the emergency manager already is insisting on someone paying for the cost, whether it’s the parade committee or festival organizers.
It’s a shame the issue can’t find a happy resolution.
We have argued before that the parade is a good thing for the city, which attracts thousands of visitors. It helps boost the image of the city.
We have also said it’s a pity that the parade organizers can’t find ways to raise money to help offset costs to Hamtramck, which has been pretty good to the parade.
Can’t there be a middle ground here?
We doubt the parade would be as successful as it is in any other city. Hamtramck has that special charm no other city can duplicate.
But its leaving Hamtramck would make a dent in the attendance of the festival as well.
Obviously, there needs to be a discussion here, and a resolution to an age-old dispute that has worn out its welcome.