Charging for admission to mardi gras is reasonable editorials the daily news physical science electricity review worksheet


Regarding a contract between the City and Yaga’s Entertainment: the first thing that has to be established is not if it makes money for the City, it’s if it is legal to do so. Galveston has more latitude in many regards as a home rule community but there are some things even home rule doesn’t allow. Is this one of them? Mr. Flores has asked to see the legal justification but that may be something that will have to happen in a courtroom. I agree with Leonard the timing should not be in the wind-up to the event but it should be taken up as soon as possible when this one is over.

Leonard makes a point about crowd control and public safety issues that a ticketed event can assist with. I am sure there are a lot of folks off island who can afford a $22 entrance fee before buying a beer…and a lot of folks right in Galveston who would not use that $22 that they need for food or rent to attend instead. They live here, may have many generations BOI and yet won’t be able to join while someone from Katy can. Do we want that? It’s a legitimate question.

I propose a solution that may be a compromise Mr. Flores and Mr. Dean might consider: how about giving free admission to everyone who can show a current government issued ID card with photo if it shows a Galveston address? One ID card, one entrant. They will have more money to spend on taxable items at our businesses, disadvantaged Galveston residents won’t have to watch from the electricity dance moms song sidelines and we can still hunt down all those off-island tourist dollars by ticketing that make the economy hum.

Wayne it’s the off-island tourists comment and BOI privilege, I like to look at the county as a whole. Where does Galveston’s water come from, where does there trash go? Get what I am saying, far from nuclear. Yes, I could come up with multiple suggestions for Mardi Gras, but Galveston is not organized enough for any of them nor has the budget for an event that is dictated gas and electric phone number by weather. I wouldn’t charge for an entertainment district, the concerts would be stand alone events with a promoter managing them. When you put 2 local business owners and taxpayers in direct competition on the same street, with one getting paid a head count fee that is not evenly shared between all businesses, it smells. I know he put up money to go into a contract with the city, but is it a bid contract? As long as there is a fee to enter an establishment that is within the entertainment zone, and the person getting the fee also runs a business in the middle of it, their is going to be problems with the owners that are getting nothing from the fee. If the weather is bad like is forecast for this Friday and Saturday nights, downtown will be dead inside the zone. Now the 2nd weekend it should be packed because there is no Seawall competition. How bout the charge being $10 the first weekend and $25 the 2nd weekend ? That seems more reasonable, and would probably generate more guests. But my 1st thing would be promotion of the concerts, hold one in The Grand, another on the deck of a parked Cruise Ship. Now there is some out of the box thinking, have Carnival promote theirs, as long as the ship is docked Galveston makes money.

Chuck, that really is the sum total of the issue and it doesn’t get any simpler than that. You may have also noticed that toll roads have free access roads that run alongside and parallel to the toll road. So you can get to the same destination–with a few more stop lights–as the paying toll road driver. There isn’t a similar accommodation here for businesses or individuals in the entertainment zone.

The nature of large-scale community events has morphed over the years from celebrations anyone could attend to ones that are spectacles that can limit admission to those with the discretionary income to pay to get inside. This phenomenon gas outage in regards to Mardi Gras seems to be something unique to Galveston among the well-known festivals. I would support Rusty’s suggestion of paid admission to a concert or special exhibits of some kind but not to rope off an entire district and charge to get in.

Mr. Flores’ follow-up comments are also instructive if accurate as they go back to the issue of just how profitable are these events to we the citizens when all costs are counted? These are all legitimate questions and if the promoter and the City have answers to meet these objections it would behoove them to share it with taxpayers and business owners who, after all, are certainly involved but not direct parties to the contract.

Of course Mardi Gras is good for Galveston, it must continue. But the city is unable to publish any law that allows them to surround our downtown businesses with fences, out-of-town vendors and $22 fees. There is no such law because it would violate antitrust laws and free trade. The city should follow the law for all festivals, not just Mardi Gras.

We’ve asked the city to relocate the promoter and their late-night concerts away from our businesses gasco abu dhabi salary so the city doesn’t need to cover its costs anymore. That would end our dispute and drastically reduce the unnecessary high expenses that are directly caused by the promoter’s late-night concerts. Why should Galvestonians subsidize the promoter and why should the city hold an event that it can’t afford? The city’s reasoning to charge our customers is to offset the costs that the promoter should be paying. The city charged the promoter only $15,000 in 2011, your public funds covered the rest. The promoter paid only $40,000 in 2012. The promoter made 100% of all vending, admission fees, sponsorships while the city covered the rest with public funds. There were riots in 2013 and 2014, so the fee doesn’t create a family atmosphere as some keep claiming as an excuse to charge everybody. If the crowds are so bad downtown, why does the city keep extending the contract?

Many believe that the city’s actions are illegal. It allows a promoter to dictate how many of our employees are allowed into work for free, the rest of our employees must pay them. The promoter refuses to allow in our restaurant reservations for free, so a reservation for eight must pay the promoter $176 in order to eat. The Seawall plan has no promoter, no fences and no fees. It’s affordable and fun. The easy solution is for the city to publish the law in the newspaper that states that it’s legal to charge our customers. If not, they should comply with the law by moving the concerts and stop charging citizens to enter our businesses.

Charlotte, I have learned a few things about the celebration in Mobile, which has being going on every year for 316 years (lesser celebrations around the Civil War and WWII, but still, every year). As said previously, they do not and have never charged people to access the streets of the parade routes or historic downtown area (Bienville Square / Dauphine St.). They estimate a overall net value of $5 million per year to all elements of the city and businesses together. Sources of income for the city include the taxes gained from hotel, restaurant, and bar businesses, rental cars, airport fees and taxes, substantial permit fees paid by the marching societies (they parade ever day for 2 weeks, not just weekends) and even gain substantial income from the towing of illegally parked cars (fine is $250 with $75 going to the la gas leak hook and the balance to the City). I think Galveston needs to do a thorough investigation of Mobile and New Orleans procedures and balance sheets for Mardi Gras and see if lessons can be learned. I am advised by a source with deep multigenerational roots in Mardi Gras in Mobile that a promoter arrangement like we are discussing here would never be tolerated by the old line families of the Mystic Societies that inhabit positions of public and private power there and he believes it is the same in New Orleans, having close connections there, as well.

No matter how we think about it, it is just like a household. There is revenue coming in and expenditures going out. We have a choice in how we use the revenue coming in. If New Orleans thinks $7,000,000 just to clean up beads is fine–with the decay of infrastructure and resident needs they have–I would say George has probably just found his first rubber room inhabitants…absolutely insane.

It is just my opinion but I think a lot of these expenditures have reached levels that are unconscionable with what needs to be spent in an aging city like Galveston. Would people come to Galveston with more modest spectacles? Well, being just down the road from the gas pains 6 weeks pregnant fourth largest city in the US, with great beaches, fantastic restaurants, tons of interesting things to do and historic architecture that has almost disappeared in most of the US…yes, I would say we have plenty to offer without feeling the need to lock out local businesses from their customers, waive our laws for public decency and noise violations and spend money better used to improve the community instead of cleaning it up after it’s trashed.