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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Veteran's parade marches on

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:24 PM

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City officials announced that current and former soldiers alike will receive the recognition they deserve after all during next month's Veteran's Appreciation Parade after one event organizer reversed course on canceling the annual event.

In a press release, city officials announced that the parade is once again slated for 10 a.m. Nov. 10 while groups and individuals who were planning to participate before the event was canceled to once again plan on doing so.

Last week parade organizer Anna Liisa Covell announced she was canceling the event due to a lack of cooperation from city officials concerning the hiring of off-duty police officers for the event.

Covell said officials failed to address concerns that hiring off-duty police officers would mean she would have to secure W-9s for each officer, pay insurance, taxes and be held liable for them.

After more than six weeks of hearing no word from city officials, Covell sent word out to supporters saying city bureaucracy was to blame.

City council members responded saying she had been informed that she wouldn't be liable for police officers and that their insurance, taxes and liability were all covered under the city. However, Covell held firm on her stance — at least until late Friday afternoon.

"After several days of negotiations with city and county officials along with community leaders, we have come to a joint resolution," Covell wrote in a press release. "We have decided that no obstacle will stand in our way to celebrate and thank our veterans in Hernando County."

That resolution was due, in part, to a nudge by County Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes who spoke to both Covell and Brooksville Mayor Joe Johnston III.

After speaking to Dukes, Johnston directed City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha to contact Covell directly in hopes that something could be worked out.

"I think there was more miscommunication than anything else," Johnston said. "But it was much ado about nothing in the end. I'm glad to see it's back on."

Meanwhile, Covell wrote that time is of the essence and urged parade participants to contact her immediately at (352) 544-0680 or (352) 544-5271

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