Chris Kramer – July 11, 2022 —
In their latest meeting, on July 7, 2022, Seaside’s City Council members lamented over the fact that much has been done by the city and the council to curb illegal fireworks in the city for many years. Yet, illegal firework activity only seems to increase each year. To this end, City Council members are considering the idea of putting a measure on the November ballot that would allow the public to vote on whether to ban “Safe & Sane” fireworks. This is bewildering, since the council members and acting police chief indicated that their real concern are the illegal fireworks, and not the “Safe & Sane” fireworks. The acting police chief verbalized to the city council that he thought such a ban would be ineffective. Multiple council members stated that even if this measure is put on the ballot, that it would likely fail due to the organization of the fireworks industry. But if the problem is illegal fireworks, then why target safe and sane fireworks at all? Illegal fireworks are already illegal. A ban on safe and sane fireworks does not alleviate the use of illegal fireworks. The cost to Seaside taxpayers would be $145,000 to get the measure on the November ballot. That cost would be dramatically more if the measure is placed on a special election ballot. This is money that can be better spent on streets, sidewalks, youth programs, fire, and police department. A ban on safe and sane fireworks punishes law-abiding citizens for the deeds of those who break the law. That is neither fair, nor sensible. Additionally, thousands of dollars of funding is raised by local nonprofits, community service organizations, and youth organizations through the sale of fireworks. It seems like the city council feels the need to take some action out of frustration from past failed attempts, even if that action will not solve the problem being addressed; and, if passed by voters, will harm the community, will be a burden on taxpayers, and will punish law-abiding citizens if passed by voters.