By now the events following (that’s right, following) September’s Second Saturday are fairly known, so there’s no real need to delve into the details of what happened. Still, the two events have become connected. Residents of Midtown have expressed their concerns with the event in the past even though it has been found Second Saturday is no more dangerous than other Saturday nights.
South Park characters created at SP-Studio
Both Mayor Johnson and Councilmember Cohn have expressed the desire to maintain Second Saturday, while others say it should return to strictly and art walk. So how do we come to a middle-ground?
The perceived issues with Second Saturday could be resolved with some simple changes.
Close earlier at 8pm. It’s a little difficult to believe serious art enthusiasts are out at vendors and galleries at 9:30pm to view the art.
Pull SPD out, requiring clubs to have private security.
SPD has an entire city to patrol, not just the area surrounding Second Saturday. However, this doesn’t mean pull all officers out of the area. Perhaps pull out half the force needed for the event by 9pm and allow them to patrol surrounding areas (River Park, Downtown, South Side). For added protection, ask and encourage bars, clubs and restaurants to hire private security for Second Saturday, further decreasing the need for SPD’s presence.
Charge bars and clubs for when SPD has to return.
To hold bar and club owners accountable for the rowdiness that may occur outside their establishments, SPD could charge them a fee should they need to return. Not sure if this would help, but it’s idea to put on the table.
If we want to continue having festivals, events, and an active neighborhoods, we cannot go into uproars about the unwanted elements those things may bring.
As we move forward, let’s look for solutions rather than rehash old problems.
Councilmember Cohn is having a Second Saturday Forum this Saturday from 9am to 11am at the Hart Senior Center.