LOGANVILLE -- The city of Loganville's Independence Day parade is reportedly the third largest in Georgia, according to Jerry Golden, parade committee coordinator and owner of Golden Productions in Loganville. But along with its size, this year's American Legion Post 233 July 4th parade also carried a lot of questions and disagreements, which Golden attempted to answer during Thursday's City Council meeting.
Some residents, Mayor Ray Nunley and some council members wanted answers to some questions buzzing around town. One question, according to Golden, is why parade participants had to sign a confidentiality agreement.
"We didn't want the 'wow' factor to get out," Golden said, referring to the planned appearance of the Tuskegee Airmen and a helicopter flyover. "We weren't trying to conceal anything from anyone."
Golden added that committee meeting dates and minutes are available for anyone to review upon request.
Golden's wife Nancy, also a parade committee member, said that she and her husband were surprised to receive a bill from the city for $4,200 shortly after the parade took place. The invoice listed charges for police, fire and other city worker services provided on the day of the parade.
"We were told that, if we got a sponsor for the parade, the city would donate these services to the parade," Nancy Golden said. "Now, we have to pay this amount, and that's a lot of money when you haven't planned for it. I'll have to hold fundraisers."
Nancy Golden, in a letter she read to Nunley and council members during Monday's work session, stated: "I find it very disconcerting that some members of this city council did not support this parade. It appears very childish that you couldn't get along so you took your toys and went home. This parade was to celebrate our freedom and to encourage unity."
Jerry Golden also said that people have asked him whether Golden Productions profited from producing the parade. According to him, the committee members put in 700-plus hours, or $21,750 worth of work. Golden Productions asked American Legion Post 233 for a check for that amount "for tax purposes."
When asked why he and the committee members worked to produce the 2012 Independence Day parade, Jerry Golden said, "Loganville is where we live. We're very involved here ... Our town needs this parade that citizens and other cities talk about. It's time for all the bickering and complaining to stop."Liquor sales signaturesJamie Dempsey, president of Loganville-based Moosehead Marketing, told Nunley and council members Thursday that his company has obtained about 2,279 signatures on a petition requesting a referendum on selling distilled spirits and allowing a liquor store in the city, or nearly all of the 35 percent of voter population required for such action. With 6,547 registered voters in Loganville, 2,292 signatures will be required to justify a referendum.