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EDITORIAL: It's tricky timing treats

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By Robin Bass

As I was writing this column, we still did not know when Trick or Treat on Main Street would be held. The Taylorsville City Commissioners were scheduled to make a decision Tuesday night. Would the cavity-ensuing event happen on All Hallow’s Eve night, or the day before on Saturday, Oct. 30.

How exactly did we get to the point where government officials had the deciding role of when kids could go out begging for candy? Let me explain.

Kim Rich, a former editor at the Spencer Magnet, is responsible for initiating the community trick-or-treating event more than a decade ago. Every year since, the newspaper has promote the event through advertising and feature articles. We would also take photographs of the cute little witches and goblins – making just enough to cover our candy expense for the following year. Other than picking the date and time of the event, we did little to organize Trick or Treat on Main. It is almost an organism of its own. Growing larger and larger each year.

Last year, the Spencer Magnet was informed by the City of Taylorsville that to hold the event we would have to pay a $25 permit fee. The fee was never the issue, rather the responsibility. As a member of Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., we simply were not allowed – nor could we afford the insurance – to assume such a responsibility. In this world of sue-happy individuals, surely you understand.

To continue with the tradition, Taylorsville Police Chief Toby Lewis, Spencer County Sheriff Steve Coulter and Fire Chief Nathan Nation teamed up and paid the permit fee – with the obvious blessings from their respective entities. The three again assumed the role of organizers this year and selected Oct. 31 as the official date of the event. That’s when trouble started brewing.

No one is really sure where the objections started, but voices of concern caught the ears of county officials. At Monday’s fiscal court meeting Judge Executive David Jenkins said, “If it’s going to be on Sunday, then maybe we shouldn’t participate.” Magistrate Hobert Judd could be seen nodding an enthusiastic “yes”.

Lewis explained that the idea was to keep kids safe – not to interfere with church services or people’s religious beliefs. If Trick or Treat on Main was held on Saturday, then kids would end up going door-to-door on Sunday anyway, he reasoned.

“This way, it’s a good safe community event and kids don’t end up going to sex offenders’ homes,” said Lewis.

So, is it better to offend a few people in order to keep kids from going to strangers’ doors? Perhaps the answer isn’t so tricky after all.