This yearâ€™s lack of a Mardi Gras festival was obviously disappointing to those of us that have treasured the event for years at a time to enjoy some fun time with friends in a peaceful party atmosphere. And the fact that a relatively small number of idiotic partiers can spoil the best annual parade in our community is very disappointing. However, this yearâ€™s over-influx of law enforcement and money spent totaled approx. $400,000 in total! We seem to have forgotten that the vast majority of the people that attended Mardi Gras in the past are the peaceful citizens that donâ€™t want or need a police state in our city.
There were better, lower-key alternatives. Why not set up a roadblock in the California/Foothill area, and only let residents in? How about proactively walking through the trouble spots, handing out fliers, and trying to get buy-in from the students about not having parties in that area? But to put up a checkpoint in the middle of downtown? Put up a secret camera on a public intersection? Overkill. To spend $20,000 in an advertising campaign, geared at telling people not to come downtown? Misguided.
Please donâ€™t get me wrong, I donâ€™t blame the officers â€” itâ€™s their job â€” itâ€™s what they were told to do. But who is keeping the decision makers in check? It seems the proverbial tail has wagged the dog. We canâ€™t go back, but we certainly can make better decisions in the future.