The Hawaiian Gardens City Council has voted 3 to 2 to place a referendum on the November ballot to ban fireworks. The action came Tuesday night after a heated argument between Mayor H. M. (Lennie) Wagner and Councilwoman Kathleen Navejas that drew applause and jeers from the audience.
Wagner, who opposes fireworks and supports the referendum, demanded order in the council chamber and threatened to adjourn the meeting.
Navejas opposed the referendum because the $8,000 to $10,000 expense to put it on the ballot "should be used elsewhere."
"These people who oppose fireworks; let them go out and get signatures and put it on the ballot themselves," Navejas said. "Don't make us do the dirty work. . . . You don't care about the people in this community."
The audience applauded and the mayor began to bang her gavel and threatened to adjourn the meeting if Navejas did not stop.
The two continued to argue until one member of the audience called on Mayor Pro Tem Dominic Ruggeri to "take control of the meeting."
Wagner later apologized for the quarrel.