Should the city pay for parade throws?

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tuesday, some members of Picayune’s City Council debated whether city funds should be used to purchase candy to throw to children during the Christmas parade.
The discussion began after council member Larry Breland expressed concern that he was unaware funding had been cut to the portion of the city’s budget that pays for candy used by city officials to throw to children during the parade.
It was noted by the city manager that the cut was made at the direction of the council during establishment of this fiscal year’s budget.
Breland mentioned an email was sent to council members on the matter but did not say if he received it or if he checked his email. However, he did express concern on the alleged lack of communication between he and the city officials. Breland may have a point about communication breakdown, since the lines of communication seem to fail at inopportune times.
However, the larger matter here is that public funds should be used for more important things than candy.
City Clerk Amber Hinton said that the city has spent an average of $2,000 per year on candy for the parade.
Additionally, nearly every person in the city’s administration could afford to pay out of pocket for their own candy to throw during the parade, if they chose to ride in the parade. If, for whatever reason, that city official could not afford such a purchase, they could certainly opt out.
Council member Lynn Bogan Bumpers said she felt the taxpayers do not care if their money is used to buy candy to throw to the children. It would be interesting to poll Picayune’s populace to find out if she is correct.

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