Apparently the Costa Mesa City Council has not been able to make the decision regarding the banning of the sale of fireworks. They have opted to throw this issue into the laps of the voters to decide on the November ballot. A politically prudent maneuver!
Surrounding communities that have banned fireworks have repeatedly asked the Costa Mesa City Council to cooperate and join them in this effort. However, the council, for its own reasons, has not acted in the best interests of Costa Mesa or the Orange County community and has been labeled a "bad neighbor."
The county grand jury has recommended a ban on fireworks. In the best interests of the local fire and police departments, a ban would ease the burden that befalls them every year.
As availability of fireworks becomes more scarce in other cities, Costa Mesa will become the sale source, thus inviting throngs from other communities to not only purchase but also to discharge the fireworks within our city, compounding the existing problems.
Some members of the City Council have justified the sale stating that local organizations benefit. Similar organizations in other cities that formerly benefited by fireworks sales have discovered other options in raising funds.
The high risk of property loss, personal injury and the heavy burden placed on the fire and police departments far outweigh the monetary benefits.
Will it require a major incident to change our thinking?
CHARLES V. KALAGIAN, Costa Mesa