One of the recurring themes in the world of government is how far removed from common sense is the world of the bureaucrat.
A local government entity is often no better than the enormously bloated national government we all get exasperated with, and we can only shake our head in wonderment at how inept and full of red tape a bureaucracy can be.
A long-standing local community tradition in Columbus involves the East High School Marching Tiger Band parading through the neighborhood around the school as they make their way from the school to their home football field about a half-mile away prior to every home football game. The community supports and enjoys this tradition by turning out to watch, appreciate, and encourage the band's efforts, which, sadly, are often better than those of the football team.
The school pays $251 for off-duty police officers to supervise the crowd at the games, plus $90 for a police escort for the band's parade. The streets involved are closed off for the duration of the short parade, and there has never been a complaint, problem, or incident during the march.
Nevertheless, despite the presence of the police as escorts for decades, the city has (just) now become aware of the parade, and has informed the school that the band now needs a parade permit for the band to march to the football field. The cost of said permit is $110.
For each game.
The Dept. of Public Safety says that any street closing to accommodate processions of people requires a permit for safety reasons. They say the streets need to be shut down "properly", and that "officer awareness" was another big reason why a permit is needed. Apparently, it takes a bit of money for the police to be "aware" of the parade; you know, the one they have been unaware they have been escorting for decades. Now that they are "aware" of the parade, I certainly hope they are now able to shut down the streets "properly".
A spokeswoman for the Department said she had no answer as to why a permit was never required before. She said, "As far as our part goes, we didn't realize they were actually closing the street down."
Right hand, left hand, anyone?