City approves procession request with restrictions

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Persistence paid off for Sean Ferreira. But it comes with a price.

Clovis City Commissioners approved — with strict conditions — an Aug. 28 “Jump Up” religious procession. It will take place from 5:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. along Main and Pile streets between Second and Fifth Streets.

Ferreira came to commissioners with a changed route, a shorter timeframe, proof of insurance and signatures of support from more than 350 Clovis residents.

Little discussion took place because commissioners had heard the request at its previous two meetings, voting down a similar request for a 4-9 p.m. event along Main and Mitchell Streets.

What remains the same is the parade format — a diesel truck with a sound system playing worship music, driving on a set route with worshippers following the truck.

By a 6-2 vote, the commission approved the event with eight conditions:

• Appropriate insurance furnished 24 hours in advance.

Ferreira said he is still waiting on the complete paperwork, but documents filed with Thursday’s agenda showed he had paid $300 for a policy to cover the event.

• Assurance the event will yield to emergency traffic and provide a rest area, water and portable toilets as directed by the Clovis Fire Department.

Ferreira has never objected to the emergency vehicle request, which has been made during its two previous introductions, and said he would adhere to the rest.

• Constant monitoring of the parade route with constant monitoring of Grand Street and other neighboring streets as directed by the public works department,

• A noise variance until 7:30 p.m., and a lower volume of music following 7:30 p.m. — both under the judgment of the Clovis Police Department,

Ferreira asked if this meant a certain decibel level would be required. Mayor Pro Tem Randy Crowder said that could be worked out with the department before or during the event.

“I have complete confidence in our police department,” Crowder said. “I am going to place all of that power in their hands.”

• Security personnel for the event, as directed by police.

• Payment for all estimated expenses 24 hours before the event, with any difference in actual payment addressed following the event.

Ferreira said he was hoping for a waiver of fees, because paying security costs would leave him with little money for miscellaneous expenses like water.

“I’ve got a lot of residents who have called and said they don’t want this event,” Crowder said. “I’ve especially had a lot of calls that taxpayers don’t want to pay for the event.”

Commissioner Len Vohs said the procession was a worthy cause,. But, he added, the city hears from a lot of worthy causes and it becomes a slippery slope when the commission gets into judging which events get waivers and which ones don’t.

“I respect that,” Ferreira said with a laugh, “but I had to ask.”

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen echoed Vohs’ sentiments, and said asking for a few dollars from every supporter, or donations of water, could go a long way.

Ferreira said after the meeting he would be busy with fundraising and sought any help he could get.

• Full authority by the fire department and police to stop the event for health or safety reasons.

The two commissioners who voted against the measure, Ron Edwards and Juan Garza, both said they still had concerns about safety.

• Complete cleanup at the conclusion of the event.