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Another way to pay

June 24, 2009
Morning Journal News

It appears that Salem is celebrating another successful run of the Steel Valley Super Nationals After Party. Last weekend's events drew large crowds and classic cars from throughout the area, even though rain dampened some of the activities.

Although only 16 arrests or citations were issued and Salem police recorded only 32 incidents involving people attending the event, city police overtime costs exceeded $11,700. A 50-50 raffle held by merchants to help cover the cost of extra police protection garnered only $432, a rather piddling sum in comparison to the cost.

While we laud the events as a good way to draw people to our county and bring in needed revenue for Salem businesses, in order for it to be a total success, the city of Salem cannot be left footing the bill for extra police pay.

Obviously the 50-50 raffle was not the way to address the funding needs. We're left to wonder whether the raffle had adequate advertising and whether it was organized properly. We also wonder, if, considering the small number of arrests, whether cutting back on police staffing might be another consideration.

We hope the Super Nats and the After Party will continue to be listed among Salem's summer events for years to come, but the expenses incurred by the city must be met by some way other than by dipping into the general fund for extra police salaries.



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