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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions April 30, 2016

12/29/2012 1:05:00 PM
Letter: When did Cottonwood stop being biker-friendly?


I am not the only motorcycle enthusiast in this town frustrated by some recent events and the rebuttals to those who voiced concern. Owner of Nate’s Cowboy Café voiced concern that his business on Main Street was closed to traffic by the city over an hour for the annual Christmas Parade but the city did not supply any traffic control for the annual Toy Run which supplies hundreds of toys for kids in this valley.

He was told the city could not afford the manpower or equipment for such an event.

I learned that the city requires a parade permit at a cost; plus a charge of $75 per hour, per officer with a two-hour minimum for an escort. That’s $150 per officer! The officers would have been required for about one half hour. Why can’t the city afford this?

I watched the Christmas parade on local television last evening. The motorcops were doing circles down main street on city owned equipment; the mobile command police van and a few fire engines were riding in the parade. Main Street was closed for floats and all that city equipment. Who paid for that? The man-hours, the fuel, the mileage? Was television coverage free?

This was the first year since I have been attending the Verde Valley Toy Run that there was not a parade of motorcycles. Word got around the police would ticket motorcycles running lights or disrupting traffic flow. I wonder how many tickets are written for crossing a barricade during the Christmas Parade?

Perhaps our town does not realize how many bikers live and ride in the Verde Valley or what they do to support the community. Just last week a group of bikers met at Food City to buy hams and side dish fixin’s that were delivered to The Old Town Mission. Did you do anything this season for a homeless or unemployed person?

Our very own “Santa” has been entertaining kids in Jerome free of charge for over 20 years. This year Santa is at six events which include the U.S. Marine Corps, Toys for Tots in Cottonwood and Camp Verde. Santa rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Bad biker Santa!

I thought we were a “biker friendly” community.

Tina “tigz” Nunes


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: It's All About Money, I Guess.

My family and I have been to the annual Christmas parade for uncounted years, it is fun but not worth paying the city extra for our Cottonwood PD to do things (traffic control, safety) that's part of their job. Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset with our wonderful Cottonwood PD or FD, I just don't like the city pick pocketing the tax payers by double-dipping. Which is probably why the city won't support the toys for tots toy run as they can't make any profit from it. If I'm incorrect please enlighten me.

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: Debi Althouse-Payne

Thanks Tigz for the great article. I agree with you 100%. The Toy Run benefiting the the Boys and Girls Club in Cottonwood brings in a lot of money and toys for children in our own town. Without the biker community and support these children would go without toys, clothing, bikes and much more during Christmas. The parade is a community wide event unlike what the person commenting (too afraid to put your name) states. We always have several hundred people standing on street corners waiting for the parade of motorcycles to go by. We need the support of our local city to ensure the parade is safe and can proceed as one unit. Bikers supporting MMA Verde Valley were out just yesterday raising money for Verde Valley Community Hospice. Without the giving nature and support of the biker community a lot of local charities will suffer.

Let's hope the City will step up next year and help the Boys and Girls Club Annual Toy Run with some police escort even if it needs to be volunteer off duty police to make the parade and event a huge success.

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Mark Shoultz

Let's hope we can get police escorts for the start of all Verde Valley Toy runs from now on. Even if the City of Cottonwood needs reimbursement. The parade is a very important part of the event. Thank you Tigs for writing this article.

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Does not mean unfriendly to bikers

None of the actions taken by the city suggest to me anyone is being unfriendly specifically to bikers.

I think the Cottonwood city manager may be a big biker, wouldn't be surprised if many of our cops are as well.

But you cannot equate the biker toy run with the Cottonwood Christmas parade, a community-wide event with a history of I believe over a half-century.

So you are talking apples and oranges. I would suggest to Ms. Nunes that she try to work with city officials in advance and make her case best she can. Then be OK with the decision, whatever it is, and don't try to make yourself into a victim. You are not.

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