Shame on you, Columbus City Administrator Joe Mangiamelli and pals, for apparently wanting to bully the dwindling number of animal entries out of the Columbus Days parade altogether. First, by demanding that any and all animals participating in the parade must wear diapers, including saddle horses; second, by demanding that any participants not willing to attach diapers to their animals must supply their own cleanup crews behind each entry.

We’ve always been positioned at the rear of the parade so as to accommodate all of those on foot and you that to be true. Now, out of the blue, you tell us you don’t know who will be last, it’s just been decided that it won’t be us. I agree, there’s a strong stink in the air, but it’s not coming from any animals and a whole heap of diapers won’t fix it.

Are you, Mr. Mangiamelli and pals, that disconnected with the real world so as to enforce such a thing? If you’re looking to see a horse wreck on a city street, strap something under the tail of an untrained horse, as is sure to happen at some point in time.

And City Administrator, since when is it the parade participants job to clean up after a community parade? We pay you tax money so you can do so, and parade entry fees as well. We even supply our own insurance as required by you.

It’s starting to look like class warfare, arrogance, and elitism at work here to a lot of us.

Columbus residents, if you don’t care to see horses and critters in your community parade any longer, don’t get involved and I won’t either. If, on the other hand, you feel Mr. Mangiamelli and pals have made a horrible decision, give him a call at City Hall and voice your opinion to him. Be firm. Be nice.

Also, dig out your Gadsden “don’t tread on me” flags and make some signs saying you want animals back in YOUR parade, then wave them along the parade route. After all, you’ll be sitting there anyway and it’s starting to look like 1775 all over again.

Paul Hughes is a Columbus-area resident.

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