Pioneer Days’ future up for discussion

by Tammy Sakry
Staff Writer

St. Francis’ Pioneer Days has been an event enjoyed by many over the years. But the fun could be at an end.

Two community meetings will take place March 15 to help determine the future of St. Francis Pioneer Days. File photo

The city and the Pioneer Days Committee will be holding two special public meetings March 15 for area business members, residents and organizations to talk about the future of the event.

This could be the last year for the event, which is scheduled June 8, 9 and 10.

The council needs to think seriously about the future of Pioneer Days, said Councilmember Steve Kane.

It is a large expense for the city and it needs to find other organizations that are willing to take over it over or change what it offers, he said.

Kane suggested eliminating the parade.

“We need to need to make up our minds” on what the city will sponsor, he said.

With the possibility that the city could eliminate Pioneer Days from its 2013 budget, the March 15 meetings at 2 and 6 p.m. will allow city staff to talk to area businesses, organizations and residents to see if there are groups willing to step up and help with the cost or take over as well as get input from them about the event.

Pioneer Days is very expensive, said Barb Held, city clerk and Pioneer Days organizer.

Last year, the city paid $8,400 in overtime for the hourly public worker employees to work during the event and around $4,200 for the parade, which included paying for trophies, high school band travel expenses and paying for specialty bands, like the Cracker Jack band.

“It all adds up,” Held said.

When the council talked in December about the possibility of ending Pioneer Days, City Administrator Matt Hylen said the festival relies on funds from private donations and city funds and has run in the red for a number of years.

The March 15 meetings will be in the city hall’s community room, 23340 Cree St.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com


  • mitch j.

    Typical. I have lived in st.Francis since I have been 13 yrs old, and I am now 36. So I have seen a lot of things happen here, or not happen here, is a better phrase. we have same horrible issues with tax hikes while properties devalue. There is nothing here kids of any age to do(city’s responsibility). And now the council wants to eliminate one of its only celebrations kids look forward to here. And not just kids, there are adults, as myself, that love seeing the town take some pride and have fun with each other. Bc they have no $, but yet I see (example)numerous expensive unnecessary cop cars, of course we need police cars and adequate technology in those cars, but I see custom paint jobs and rims on patrol cars. Really! Where does custom paint and rims and tint help? And I know everyone asks this question all the time. Why must they drive so excessively when they are just going to the next light or stop sign? How much fuel do they waste per year bc they drive with lead feet? I understand and agree with excessive driving on a call. Speed is of the essence. And how many city salaries are really really needed. And these ideas are just the beginning, I mean how do our taxes keep going up yet we keep losing our community. And officials say be proud to be from st. Francis, and then threaten to take away community parade, something that is a supposed to be a prideful moment and celebration

  • mitch j.

    Typical. I have lived in st.Francis since I have been 13 yrs old, and I am now 36. So I have seen a lot of things happen here, or not happen here, is a better phrase. we have same horrible issues with tax hikes while properties devalue. There is nothing here kids of any age to do(city’s responsibility). And now the council wants to eliminate one of its only celebrations kids look forward to here. And not just kids, there are adults, as myself, that love seeing the town take some pride and have fun with each other. Bc they have no $, but yet I see (example)numerous expensive unnecessary cop cars, of course we need police cars and adequate technology in those cars, but I see custom paint jobs and rims on patrol cars. Really! Where does custom paint and rims and tint help? And I know everyone asks this question all the time. Why must they drive so excessively when they are just going to the next light or stop sign? How much fuel do they waste per year bc they drive with lead feet? I understand and agree with excessive driving on a call. Speed is of the essence. And how many city salaries are really really needed. And these ideas are just the beginning, I mean how do our taxes keep going up yet we keep losing our community. And officials say be proud to be from st. Francis, and then threaten to take away community parade, something that is a supposed to be a prideful moment and celebration of “franny-town”- if someone else doesn’t take over the financial end. HOW DARE THEY!! I say trim some fat where it needs to be trimmed. Not where they choose to trim. Just like the government expects taxpaying citizens to tighten our belts and save wherever we can, this city should try a little bit more. Wage decreases, for “cushy” positions, not for cops, firefighters, public works, or the most important, teachers. For this city to take away its pride day and in such short cold language makes me think its time to start thinking of a move. Which saddens me bc I grew up here, and came back here to raise a family. Have fundraisers, bake sales whatever it takes, if not implemented already, which should be lead by the city. I guess I don’t get why the the supposed leaders of this community(council) expect someone else to take care of problem. It’s another sign of the entitlement era. “Oh well, someone else will do it.” I love my little town, and am prideful when I say i’m from st. Francis, even when they ask, “is that a Catholic school?” Haha. So to the city council, fix the problem, and don’t threaten us with your easy way out. Do your job and make it happen. Take pride in your community. You are supposed to be working for the city, which if you forget, is all those people who love going to that parade. – just a losing hope concerned member of the community. If I offended anyone, deal with it. It’s my opinion, and that is one of the few things we truly have that is ours.

  • Bryan

    You’re right Mitch. They waste money in unbelievable ways.
    How about that Palace of a city building that is being built on HWY.47? Way over the top. They pushed that through with minimum notice and invlovemnet of the voters.
    You know they didn’t spend much on snow removal this year. They didn’t spend anything on the ice rink or warming house. They are acting like they are immune from all that has happened with the economy while the citizens have to suffer and deal with reality. They are drunk with power. it’s their own little kingdom. Small town government run amuck.
    I hope people remove them come election time. No one is happy.

    • Kat

      Sounds like a good idea, changing the guard (so-to-speak), but the problem is that you have to change ALL of them. From the mayor on down… whos in now has to go and you needs to start fresh with all new people and ideas. It is sad, but the taint of how it is being run now is like a disease that spreads from person to person in their thinking, ideas and ideals. You get one off the council but the others all have the same disease. And sadly, none of those in power now want to give it up for any reason, even for the potential greater good of the city. And I highly doubt that a full change would happen…

  • Just me

    The City and School District both need to cut some fat but if they do it is always the little person the tax payers and the elder who suffer. Thank god for the Friday night car show which is free.

  • Pioneer Days

    I supported the new building, and it was way over do. They have been talking about it for almost 15 years!! The city even had an open house regarding the proposed new building, and only 7 people showed up. Everyone that showed up agreed that we needed to replace the outdated, small buildings.

    For Pioneer Days, I would like it to continue, but the people always want the council to cut everything out of the budget until it’s something they like. Well I’m sorry, you can’t have everything!!! The city has been looking for volunteers, but no one has stepped up to the plate to assist. If you want Pioneer Days to continue, maybe you should stop whining and volunteer to help……….just sayin’.

  • S Brown

    Instead of whining and crying about the way the City is run, why don’t you step up to the plate and do something sbout it. Question: Have you EVER went to a City Council meeting? Will you be going to the meeting for Pioneer Days and volunteering your time or are you the type that wants to “Sit Back and let everybody else do the work for your entertainment and pleasure?”There is alot of different open commissions for example: Planning & Zoning, Park Commission & Pioneer Days committee. Sign up “Get Involved” PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!!!! I have seen and heard alot of NEGATIVE comments about our city of St.Francis, but “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO IMPROVE IT??”

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