Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1671071

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2017

Petition for fireworks circulated

By David Hotle | Jul 24, 2017

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

In response to an announced petition to ban fireworks from the City of Washington, a resident has begun his own petition to keep the fireworks ordinance in the city the way it is.

John Carroll felt both sides of the argument over whether to ban fireworks from the city should be represented in front of the Washington City Council before a decision is made. When he read the report of the push to ban fireworks in town, he decided to start a petition to give people who felt the existing ordinance is fine the chance to make their voices heard. He feels the law shouldn’t be changed for the responsible fireworks users because a small number of people use fireworks irresponsibly.

“I believe the current ordinance which reflects the state law is sufficient at this point,” Carroll said. “I believe it gives a clear understanding to what is allowed and what is not.”

Carroll believes it is a vocal minority of people who want fireworks totally banned from Washington.

During the July 18 Washington City Council meeting, resident Susan See showed a petition she had been circulating to ban fireworks from the city limits. She said she had received 261 signatures at the time. She also read several news stories arguing that fireworks use isn’t safe.

“I think those with safety concerns regarding fireworks have good reasoning,” Carroll said. “All fireworks should be used with caution and responsibility. Just because I am of the opposite belief of banning fireworks in the city limits does not put me in the category with those who would use them irresponsibly or out of bounds with the ordinance. Those who use fireworks in an unsafe manner should be fined accordingly and all property damage done to another should be paid for.”

He said the petition wishes to promote the safe use of fireworks during the scheduled times in Washington. He also addressed the concerns that have been brought to the council regarding fireworks use, such as the fireworks scaring pets, keeping children awake when they are trying to sleep, and disturbing veterans with PTSD. He believes people having under 10 p.m. to shoot fireworks is fair, because the regular noise ordinances reflect almost the same time.

The ordinance also says fireworks can be used between June 30 and July 8 until 10 p.m. and on Dec. 31.

“My only concern with fireworks being completely banned from the city is that there are many people who don’t know anyone outside of their property that will let them use fireworks on their property and therefor would have no place to use them,” Carroll said. “In a city of over 7,000 people, not everyone is going to know somebody who would let them use fireworks outside city limits. We were just given the opportunity use fireworks again and it would be a shame to have to rid ourselves of their use because of the few people who ruin the peace of the community as a whole over it. If you live in the city, of course, you’re going to have to be prepared for some noise. Tha is why there are noise ordinances, because after a certain time of day its unacceptable to have a certain amount of noise and people should definitely stick to that or be fined as the law states.”

Carroll said the petition is only online at this point. If the petition gathers what Carrollbelieves is a reasonable number of signatures, he will present it to the city council. The web address for the petition is https://jpcarroll12.wixsite.com/washingtonfireworks.

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