LETTERS: Committee sets record straight

To the Editor:

In regard to the article in the June 4 issue of the paper, The Florence Labor Day Committee feels that the facts must be stated publicly in regard to the MCFA (Marion County Firefighters Association) meeting that "doused" the conflicts between our 71st annual Labor Day venue and the MCFA first concert event.

1. No Florence Labor Day Committee member was contacted by the MCFA. Yes, we were aware of the meeting, but only through a resident of Florence.

2. It was stated (at the meeting) that the Labor Day Committee never had contacted MCFA about this conflict. The Labor Day Committee did meet with the MCFA in January of 2007 to politely suggest the MCFA not compete with our long standing three-day Labor Day Celebration by relocating their afternoon events and meal to Florence. This would have allowed MCFA to raise funds during their events without competing with the Florence Labor Day Celebration. We were informed by the MCFA that this relocation option could be seen as supporting the Florence Labor Day Celebration. While we understand this position, we can't understand the decision to compete directly against us.

3. Not only has the Florence Labor Day Committee met with the MCRA as a group, we have personally visited with several other high-ranking MCFA members (outside of our own fire department members) in regards to this conflict. We again have politely suggested to them that they consider moving their event to another weekend to eliminate the conflict with our 70-year-old tradition. Our hope is in 2009 that our long-standing tradition will no longer be in competition with other events.

The Florence Labor Day Committee would like to extend our gratitude to our concerned citizens for their support and efforts in attempting to work out the conflict with MCFA. Also, we would like to invite everyone to attend our 71st annual Florence Labor Day Celebration, Aug. 30, 31, and Sept. 1.

The Florence Labor Day Committee