Bellflower voters have said no to higher business license fees, while Cerritos voters said no more Fourth of July fireworks.
Cerritos voters on Tuesday rejected an advisory ballot measure that sought to continue the sale and use of the holiday novelty items. Fireworks companies had waged a campaign against a ban.
Although the vote on Proposition G was advisory, the Cerritos City Council has promised to abide by the results.
A last-minute campaign by a handful of community activists was credited with helping pass the ban. Cerritos Citizens For Safety assembled last week and passed out about 2,000 flyers telling residents that even "safe and sane" fireworks were dangerous.
"I think people were really ready for (a ban)," said Leora Einson, who helped organize the effort. "We just live so close together here and we don't have room to take a chance with everything catching fire."
For two summers, houses in Cerritos have been destroyed after fireworks ignited their roofs.
The pro-fireworks faction distributed literature telling voters that in cities where "safe and sane" fireworks have been banned, unsafe devices have been used and resulted in an increase of fires.
Those who supported the continued sale of fireworks largely were affiliated with the various charitable and civic groups that sell the fireworks each summer to help finance their activities.
In Bellflower, Proposition E was defeated handily, despite strong backing from the Chamber of Commerce and the City Council, which put the measure on the ballot.
The measure would have hiked business license fees from $25 to $100 a year and generated an estimated $400,000 in revenues for the city. This marks the third time in three years that Bellflower voters have rejected a proposed increase in the business license fee.
"I'm very disappointed that it was unable to pass," Councilman Bob Stone said Wednesday. "I really don't understand the thinking of some of the voters."
Stone said he and other council members worked hard to inform voters that the state is cutting aid to cities, that most Bellflower business owners do not live in the city, and that business license fees have not been raised since 1973.
"Most of us on the council felt pretty secure that we would be able to get this business license fee," Stone said.