Anderson community members were appalled, then angered when they learned a traffic committee denied the original permit and then issued an amended one to Anderson Union High School for its annual homecoming parade.
The traffic committee is comprised of a representative from the Anderson Police Department and a representative from the City of Anderson Public Works department. According to community members, Lt. Rocky Harpham delivered the news to high school officials, who then petitioned City Manager Jeff Kiser.
Kiser approved the original parade route, a route that is steeped in tradition and has been used for several decades without problem.
In their appeal, high school officials made every attempt to list businesses along McMurray Drive as well as the alumni who enjoy watching the parade as well as recounting all of the hard work the students put in to building the floats.
Lt. Harpham explained the high school would have to go through CalTrans to get a permit for the original parade route because it blocked the exit and entrance to Interstate 5 on North Street. When asked by an official how they go about doing that, Harpham explained he didn’t know.
Former City Councilman and current Anderson Union High School District board trustee Butch Schaefer was the Grand Marshal.
He is also a graduate of Anderson High School, and would have readily gone to bat for his beloved Big Blue had he needed to.
However, Kiser realized the importance of upholding high school traditions.
Kiser saw to it that the tradition wasn’t about bureaucratic red tape. The parade only temporarily closes two lanes of North Street 20 minutes at most.
Kiser sided with high school students making memories with friends and alumni recalling other homecoming parades.
The Anderson community is fiercely proud and protective of the longest running and only homecoming parade in northern California.
The traffic committee and Chief Johnson need to remember that the tradition isn’t for the community. Rather, it keeps alive a tradition for Anderson Union High School students because it is a fun, safe activity that shows the community’s pride for one of the city’s greatest gems – the students of Anderson Union High School.