Northwest NEWS

June 10, 2002

Front Page

Carnation council bans fireworks for 2003

by Karen Waddington
   Contributing Writer
   CARNATIONAt their June 4 meeting, the City Council voted 3-2 in favor of a fireworks ban that will be effective for the July 4th holiday in 2003.
   Councilmember Bob Patterson thanked the audience for being there. "Our actions affect you, and we appreciate your presence, it is important and we are glad you are here."
   Citizens spoke to both sides of the issue, several of them reminding the council that anybody who wants to get fireworks is going to get them as long as they are allowed in the county.
   "This is only one day a year, and then it's over," said one resident.
   Comments against the ban also came from a number of audience members who were part of the fireworks industry. One spokesperson for the group said, "We want to see a safe 4th of July," and vowed to work with the city in promoting education and safety campaigns.
   Several citizens spoke in favor of the ban and one citizen read a letter which stated, "What is independence for those who have to stay home to protect themselves and their homes from fireworks damage."
   Another citizen was concerned for her animals and was a neighbor to one of the houses that burned last year. She said she was awake and was able to help rescue the family when the house began to burn.
   The council agreed that all the points made were valid ones.
   One gentleman spoke on behalf of his family and son, who recently returned home after service in the military. The gentleman encouraged the council not to take his 4th of July away.
   Mayor Stuart Lisk recognized how much work had gone into this. Patterson responded to the issue of enforcement saying that it would be much easier to enforce a total ban than a partial ban.
   Councilmember Joan Sharp stated that she was still struggling with her decision and understood that there were valid arguments on both sides.
   Councilmember Laurie Clinton said, "Fires are caused by irresponsible people. I am upset that we have to legislate stupidity." She went on to say how impressed she was with the fireworks industry coming and speaking out. She hoped that the fireworks industry in the room wouldn't wait to offer education, but be proactive now.
   Councilmember Yvonne Funderburg felt this was a difficult decision to make and said that she too was struggling with her vote.
   Everyone agreed that a coordinated campaign to encourage a county wide ban was needed.
   Lisk said that it was no secret he had originated the bill and didn't want to be the "Grinch who stole Christmas in July, but this is about more than just fireworks, this is a public safety issue. The council has a responsibility and the city should be accountable."
   He went on to say how impressed he was with the young man who had returned from military service, but reminded everyone that shooting fireworks does not make you patriotic.
   The council discussed an amendment to include sparklers. The city attorney amended the language and all references of sparklers were removed.
   In other council reports, it was noted that the person who attempted to rob Ixtapa was caught and a gun recovered. The 911 call that was placed on hold was discussed and it was explained that when there is a high call volume, all calls are handled in the order received. If calls exceed the hold volume then some calls are put on hold. Police Chief Sterland assured everyone that the people in charge of the call center and dispatch have been notified of the problem.
  
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