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Why do we need proclamations?

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Column by Jim Clark

The Marion County Commission has gotten itself into a bind in a situation involving a proclamation for Black History Month.

One group submitted a proposed proclamation, but commissioners, led by Chairman Carl Zalak, changed the wording.

That didn’t go over very well.

I’m not going to dwell on this one proclamation, but I will dwell on the whole process. For the most part, I don’t understand why we need proclamations.

The only cases in which I can justify proclamations is when government or some charitable organization need the proclamation to help get federal or state funding. But that’s it.

These feel-good proclamations, some of which are passed at meetings and are then followed by a photo op which no one but the person receiving the proclamation cares about, are totally unnecessary.

You can probably find objections to part or all of these proclamations if you look hard enough.

Here are some of the proclamations on the agenda at recent meetings:

Career and technical education month.

Southeastern Youth Fair.

Human Trafficking Awareness month.

Horses in the Sun (HITS) day.

Golden Spoon Awards day for two local restaurants.

School Choice week.

Six Gun Territory Reunion and Wild West weekend (which took place in Levy County).

Eagle Scout Kelton Michael Wilemon, Joshua Neil Patterson, Christopher K. Bradshaw and John Lewis Heinbockel (I can live with these).

Healthiest Weight Florida Initiative.

Farm City week.

Stanley L. Hudson day (Masonic state leader).

How many of these have you heard of? For most of them, do you really care? And, for most of these, does having a proclamation make any difference at all?

I’ve come up with a few holidays and observances that I think deserve proclamations:

Feb. 17, Champion Crab Races day.

Feb. 17, National Indian Pudding day.

Feb. 18, Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane day (I kid you not, you can look it up).

Feb. 18, Drink Wine day (I know a lot of people who will enjoy this one).

Feb. 18, Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast day (definitely deserves a proclamation). Do you wash the ice cream down with wine?

I’m going to make up one of my own, for Feb. 25. First Mets Spring Training game televised by SNY. I just hope I can pick up the feed somewhere on cable.

Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen and West Marion Messenger.