Oktoberfest parades are threatened to be canceled

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

La Crosse (WEAU) - Oktoberfest spokesperson Tina Severson says the City of La Crosse didn’t give them a lot of time to come up with 18 thousand dollars for parade fees.

“Right now were assessing the 18 thousand dollar fee from the Police Department in la Crosse. We need to match those funds, or we will not have the parades," said Severson.

City council president Audrey Kader says that the 18 thousand dollars doesn’t come close to what the actual costs are for policing the parades.

“They’re charging for 42 officers on duty, even though there will be 66 actually working the parade. For the 2011 Oktoberfest weekend it was over 151 thousand dollars that directly cost the city," said Kader.

Both Kader and the Mayor say they don’t want to see the parades cancled, but that the city has a right to be charging for their expenses.

“It's necessary to charge back and legitimate to charge back. We have to protect the interest of the tax paying citizens," said Kader.

“I hope that before any decision is made there can be a line of communication," said Mayor Harter.

The Maple Leaf parade has been going on for 51 years. It brings in thousands of spectators and will be sorely missed if it doesn’t happen this year.

“If they don’t have the parades it’ll make a big difference. That was the beginning and the end, the Maple Leaf parade and the Torchlight parade," said Deanna Jordan, a previous Oktoberfest parade spectator.

“If there is no parade then people don’t get a feel of what Oktoberfest really is about," said Christina Brugger a previous parade spectator.

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  • by Diane on Mar 10, 2012 at 05:48 AM
    I'm sure many private businesses in LaX benefit financially from this event. They should fork over the money to pay for this event.
  • by EC Location: EAU CLAIRE on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:47 AM
    The police in La Crosse do a very good job of controling things since the little "Coon Creek" flip the cop car over incident. Asking them to volunteer time to deal with a bunch of Drunks is obsurd. The money the city is asking for is to off-set costs, not make the city money. The octoberfest committe should start looking into ways to make it profitable.
  • by Geo Location: Eau Claire on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    Police Officers are not like they used to be. There was a time when they worked for nothing,for special events, and got involved. Now the police and their union demand more, and provide less service, you know like teachers & street department personal.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:34 PM in reply to Geo
      Geo you are so misinformed. Officers in La Crosse work 21 to 22 hours everyday during this week long festival. Officers do volunteer everyday they are on the street even though they get paid. They volunteer their life, their body and health to protect people. Officers spend little time in La Crosse writing tickets. Look at their call volume compared to the amount of officers they have. During the festival they still have to respond to other calls around the city. Officers union do not demand more for less service. They demand enough to stay healthy in order to work better and protect their family ad theirs. The Officers in La Crosse like many Officers in the state are being blackmailed into paying outrageous detuctibles while not getting any raises. Officers like teachers gave up raises any years ago for better benifits now those benifts have been lowered and their pay has not been increased. Officers work hard everyday at work and operate on a high level of streess everyday not knowing if that person walking by their squad is going to pull a gun and shoot them or just say hi. Get out of the hole you are in Geo and realize every city is dangerous and their are people out there that find joy in hurting others.
      • reply
        by Geo on Mar 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM in reply to
    • reply
      by Diane on Mar 10, 2012 at 05:49 AM in reply to Geo
      Hey Geo, why don't you run down their and volunteer your own time for crowd control!
    • reply
      by Anon. on Mar 10, 2012 at 06:08 AM in reply to Geo
      And I'll bet you volunteer your time for events in the community--right...
    • reply
      by t on Mar 11, 2012 at 03:03 AM in reply to Geo
      Do you volunteer to work free at your place of employment? Seriously, cause I don't and I don't think its fair to ask anyone else too.
  • by Drummer Girl on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:26 AM
    As a former Marching Chief, this news is a TRAGEDY!!! The city benefits in many intangible ways from Oktoberfest, the local businesses count on the revenue the Fest brings in, and the public expects their Fest. How can the city put a price tag on it?? Without the parades, there is no Oktoberfest!!
  • by Denise Location: WI on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:13 AM
    WOW! Eric and Luke you both make interesting comments. How often do you go to your job and tell your boss you are "volunteering" your services for the day. I'd guess none. You can't pay bills simply by volunteering.
    • reply
      by Luke on Mar 9, 2012 at 09:02 AM in reply to Denise
      Actually I did volunteer for my job, 6 years in the military. While yes we were monetarily compensated, if extra services, security, or tasks needed to be completed, it WAS voluntary. You seemed to have missed the point that Jeff and I were trying to make... The parade obviously helps La Crosse economy, and you would THINK that the people who are sworn to protect and SERVE, would be more concerned about their economy as a whole NOT just their pockets! The US economy is declining as we speak because everyone is concerned about what is in it for them, JUST like the La Crosse PD!
      • reply
        by Bo on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM in reply to Luke
        Denise obviously never worked in the real world. You don't get a temporary raise if you are asked to take on a special project or do a little extra. Overtime yes, a bonus at the end of the year maybe.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:43 PM in reply to Luke
        Luke Officer volunteer their time a lot while working. Going to calls that should be handle by a parent,spending countless hours on training, teaching children at schools about safety. There are many other things that officers do in their spare time to help the community. Thanks for your service but don't act like Officers are in it for themselves, they only want enough to survive and live comfortablly. Officers are more prone to death earlier then the average male, More prone to divorce due to the stress of the job, More prone to back problems from carrying their equipment all day. Its funny watchign private sector employees moan about public sector employees when times are tough. You don't see those same private sector employees moan when wall street is doing good and times are good. Private sector employees as a whole make more then any public setor employee when the market is doing good but their pay is based on the market and when it goes bad they do worse then the public sector so they need to blame them. People need to stop trying to bring people down and they need to start working to bring themselves up. If you want someone to blame for the deficit look no further then the people leach off welfare and social security disibilty. IF YOU CAN WALK AND TALK YOU CAN WORK
  • by ron Location: barron on Mar 8, 2012 at 08:16 PM
    Sorry, no parade.
  • by Luke Location: Chippewa Falls on Mar 8, 2012 at 08:05 PM
    It is sort of ironic that the parade and festivities probably bring in 10's of 1000's of dollars to the La Crosse area economy, but they are charging them to have it there... You would think that the local police and security would volunteer their time to help out their local economy! However, they are simply looking to make money (or cover expenses) and I would venture to guess that most of the security claims over time, meals & gas as well. It is really sad that a parade that brings people from all over the state may cease to exist because the selfishness of so few (estimated 66 law enforcement) . . . . .
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:46 PM in reply to Luke
      La Crosse does not have 66 patrol officers try less and they do not get paid for gas and meals. They do get overtime but when they work 21 hour shifts I think they deserve it. They are public sector employees that do not get, profit sharing, bonuses during the holidays or end of the year. They only get an hourly wage for what they deal with in a day. If you think their job is so fun and easy go do some ride alongs, attend a civilian academy get out of your one side shell. Officer volunteer their time at a lot of other events like united way, special olympics, benefits, and many other organizations.
      • reply
        by Luke on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:46 PM in reply to
        The article CLEARLY STATED that they are expecting 66 police officers to work the parade... Perhaps you should spend more time reading the story than analyzing the comments. Additionally I understand they volunteer elsewhere, the point was this helps the La Crosse economy, which CITY taxpayers pay their salary! why couldn't they volunteer then? As far as "fun jobs" go, I honorably served 6 years in the military most recently as a Combat Medic. Trust me, I am as far from "one sided shell" when it comes to "fun jobs" in fact a lot of my brothers/sisters-in-arms never made it home, or made it home without their limbs.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2012 at 04:44 PM in reply to Luke
      Why don't you volunteer to give the parade the $18000.00 dollars. You think the officers should volunteer so you can do your fair share.
      • reply
        by Luke on Mar 13, 2012 at 01:07 PM in reply to
        Your comment is so far beyond the idea of relevance I don't even think you took the time to read any of the above posts. I did my service, 6 VOLUNTARY YEARS. Maybe if more than .45% of the United States population served on active duty in the Military and deployed overseas, this country wouldn't be in shambles...
  • by jeff Location: eau claire on Mar 8, 2012 at 07:17 PM
    51 years and now all of a sudden the city wants its money. I think its time that maybe the parade commity out source for the protection, Find a cheaper policing unit, there are alot of security firms out there that could do a better job than the lacrosse area police could do.
    • reply
      by Diane on Mar 10, 2012 at 05:53 AM in reply to jeff
      The city wants money for this because the TAXPAYERS don't want to spend tax dollars on this event -- especially if that taxpayer doesn't attend or get any benefit from it. Let those who benefit (local businesses) pay for it.
  • by JIM Location: Eau Claire on Mar 8, 2012 at 06:55 PM
    Police State
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:18 AM in reply to JIM
      So whats that suppose to mean Jim. Seems you complain about everything
      • reply
        by Madge on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM in reply to
        So what is that supposed to mean, Anonymous? Seems all you do is question and misunderstand what everyone else posts. Its always, " what do you mean, what is your source for that, Fox news is not a reliable source" blah blah blah.
        • reply
          by Jon on Mar 10, 2012 at 01:19 AM in reply to Madge
          Really your on someone for asking for a source?
  • by Eric on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:55 PM
    Seems to me that this event brings alot of needed revenue to the community. That being the case wouldn't the men and women who are sworn to protect that community want to see it survive? I would say yes so if they volunteer for a big event to bring revenue to the community then they keep their jobs. Without the revenue jobs are lost including those who make their living off of our taxes and always seem to want a bigger payout for doing what they swore an oath to do anyway
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:50 PM in reply to Eric
      Hey Eric i didn't know public sector employees didn't pay their taxes. Public employees pay for their own salery like everyone else. They go into work and earn a check and they get taxes out of their check same as everyone else. They also pay property taxes same as everyone else. Start blaming the real problem, which are the people taking advantage of governement programs and don't contribute. Actually since your so high and mighty why don't you do an officers job with no vest and no tools and just go out there with a baddge and see if peopel listen to you. A private security firm would not patrol the festival as soon as one of them got hurt they would pull out and then sue. An officer gets hurt and he sucks it up finishes his shift and then comes back the next day because he knows if he goes down that leaves others vulnerable.
      • reply
        by Jon on Mar 10, 2012 at 01:19 AM in reply to
        I agree with you on all points Anon except about private security. I worked as an armed security guard on Halloween in Madison and we had to muck it up with people much like the police did.
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