Potsdam to host firefighters' convention
Up to 10,000 firefighters and family members will descend on Potsdam this summer for the 117th annual Northern New York Volunteer Fireman's Association convention.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at mpcourier.com.
#1 Mar 16, 2013
"Plans for the annual convention were put on hold when Ilion, the original host village, backed out after realizing the convention would conflict with its yearly carnival." WTF!
Much more to this story for sure.
#2 Mar 16, 2013
Ask the Mayor about the reasons for not coming to Ilion. This would have brought in a lot of revenue for the village. Guess the current mayor didn't want that. Thanks John from a village taxpayer.
#3 Mar 17, 2013
10,000 firemen would have visited...
Stephens didn't screw over just Ilion, he screwed over the whole valley -- hotels, restaurants, gas stations & etc.-- and all taxpayers given the lost opportunity for sales tax revenue
But we got the Doo Dah Parade yippee yippee!!
Here's the story from the Potsdam newspaper
See the end where Stephens says Ilion had already booked hotels and restaurants for visiting firemen... WTF? booked as in reserved? WITH WHOSE MONEY?
Ilion mayor: Opposition caused withdraw of fireman’s convention hosting
By TIM FENSTER
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013
POTSDAM - The mayor of the Ilion said his community lost a regional fireman’s association convention because it wanted to hold the event in July.
Ilion Mayor John P. Stephens said suggestions made by some local officials that the annual convention of Northern New York Volunteer Fireman’s Association was pulled from Ilion because of a conflict with the village’s annual Ilion Days Festival were inaccurate. Mr. Stephens said the village had been planning to hold the convention in conjunction with the festival, to be held the third week of July.
The convention will now be co-hosted by Potsdam and Norfolk from June 6 to 8.
“(The festival) certainly wasn’t a conflict with the convention. It would have made the convention better,” he said.
Mr. Stephens said although Ilion officials had already extensively planned for the convention the fireman’s association leadership began to reconsider Ilion’s plans because the association’s bylaws state the convention must be held during June. After much back and forth, which left Ilion convention planning officials in the dark as to whether they’d be permitted to host the convention they chose to withdraw.
“We weren’t going to spend that money on restaurants and hotels if we weren’t sure we were going to host it,” Mr. Stephens said.
With Ilion out as the host community, there was no site for the 2013 convention, so Potsdam and Norfolk stepped up to co-host the convention.
“Potsdam was offered to host after we were basically screwed-over by the (fireman’s association),” Mr. Stephens said.“We put in an offer (to host), it was approved, and then they came back and said they can’t do that because they can’t break the by-laws.
“They can change the by-laws all the time to adjust for surprises, but the surprise was to us when we found out we wouldn’t be hosting the convention,” Mr. Stephens added.
Fireman’s association First Vice President Anthony Clark said that during the association’s annual meeting in Louisville last June a small group of members raised opposition to Ilion hosting due to what they saw as a conflict with the bylaws. Mr. Clark said Ilion then withdrew its bid to host.
The Ilion mayor believes those members expressed strong opposition to Ilion hosting the convention because of the amount of time, effort and cost of traveling to that village.
Located about 12 miles southeast of Utica, Ilion is one of the most southern-lying communities in the association, which includes St. Lawrence, Franklin, Essex, Clinton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida, Jefferson and Oswego counties. It’s about a three-hour drive south from Potsdam.
He blamed the opposition on a small group within the association that “(does) nothing but complain.” Mr. Stephens feels Ilion was hurt by the opposition to their effort to host the convention.
The influx of up to 10,000 firemen for the weekend could have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. In addition, the village had already booked hotels rooms and restaurants for the firemen, and Mr. Stephens thanked these local business owners for allowing the to village cancel their reservations without charge.
Mr. Stephens also said the opposition did not come from Potsdam or Norfolk firefighters, and he offered “kudos” to those communities for hosting and ensuring that there would be a convention this year.
#4 Mar 17, 2013
let us estimate, conservatively, that each of 10,000 attendees would have spent $100 a day over the three days of the convention.
10,000 x $100 =$1 million
$1M x 3 days =$3 million dollars injected in the valley economy
but hey -- we got the Doo Dah Parade! yippee yippee yippee
#5 Mar 17, 2013
I've been attending Firemen's conventions since Saranac Lake in 1959 and I've NEVER once attended one in July, period! They are always the first full week in June. For a group fairly new to our association to come in and set a July date just doesn't work for most departments. Their own schedules of field days and parades are already set for the summer. It is unfortunate for Ilion but that's just the way it is..
#6 Mar 17, 2013
that statement is incorrect
Ilion COULD have hosted the Firemen's Convention on June 6-8
Stephens, for some horribly ill conceived reason, wanted the Firemen's Association to CHANGE the date of its annual convention to the middle of July to COINCIDE with the Ilion Doo Dah parade and the whole "Ilion Festival"
The Firemen's Convention has a FULL slate of activities at its convention every year -- why would they want to conflict with a silly little village parade, competing for space, time and attention?
The whole Ilion Days festival and Doo Dah Parade also has a full schedule -- how would it make sense to inject 10,000 out of towners into a purely parochial event?
the only answer -- STEPHENS HAS FINALLY LOST HIS FREAKING MIND!
#7 Mar 17, 2013
I have no idea why Ilion was even considering hosting the convention. The Northern New York Firemens Association does not represent Herkimer County. Yes, many departments from Herkimer County and many people belong to Northern but the fact is Herkimer County is not included in their Certificate of Incorporation. And the estimates of how many would attend is greatly exagerated. Get your facts straight. They wanted to host a regional firematic event, not the state convention. Geez.
And the by-laws of Northern clearly outline when events take place.
#8 Mar 19, 2013
Looking forward to welcoming the 10,000 Fireman to my town in June! And the community is looking forward to any $ they spend while here. Thanks Ilion!
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