The City Beat is in a hurry this afternoon — I’m going to the EERC biomass workshop at the Alerus Center — so I’ll have to keep this short.
As you probably read in my story, Hugo Gomez changed the name of the disc golf tournament and got the council to kind of give his event extra policing free of charge. The council still has to vote on this next Monday, but I’m sensing a majority is behind this.
I was actually very surprised by this because I always thought that most private, essentially for-profit events pay for extra policing. In a sense, they’re inconveniencing the community and profiting from it. Hugo did say he would give his profits away — though his organization isn’t a nonprofit group — but I don’t think any of his vendors plan on doing that.
Apparently I was wrong about the pay-for-policing. The folks at the city don’t really distinguish between for-profit or non-profit events. The argument they put forth is that special events are normal in the life of a community and the police exist to provide a public service for the community. There maybe some events that are so extraordinary that they may require a lot more policing, but the general philosophy is policing doesn’t cost extra.
City people say there’s a chance this event would bring new people to town and bolster the economy, so that’s a bonus.
I’m also surprised that the council is so willing to overlook the whole 420 issue. As I’ve said before, I’m not full of hate for marijuana by any means, but I can see how reasonable people might think that whoever decided to name it that and then call it a family event might not have his head on straight.
The city, though, is eager to not look like it’s full of naysayers who turn down youthful events. So they’re putting it through the special events process — a planning process where security, parking, etc. are worked out in detail — and, if the tournament passes, then it can happen.
I just hope this thing works out so the next guy with a bright idea also gets a chance. It might be the first time the city’s allowed something of this size to be organized by a novice.