On July 11, The Garden Grove City Council will decide whether to put the fireworks ban on the November ballot. This is the issue to talk about here in GG. The controversy stems from the fact that all of the groups that profit from the sale of fireworks are charitable, non-profit groups that make this community what it is.
If for-profit groups were selling fireworks, we would have banned them years agoÃ¢â‚¬â€back in Broadwater days.
From the OC Register:
[Garden Grove City Councilman Mark] Leyes said he is behind those community groups and supports residents who look at fireworks as a way of displaying patriotism.
But there is a definite public safety concern, and a burden to an already strained city budget that Leyes is ignoring.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦the ban on all fireworks is high on the wish list for the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fire department, said Fire Marshall David Barlag. The city now deploys eight teams, each comprising a police officer and a firefighter, on July 4, he said.
Last year on July 4, Garden Grove received 202 fireworks-related calls. There were 2 structural fires, five dumpster fires, and two medical-aid incidents that were directly related to fireworks.
If the voters in Garden Grove want to keep this burden, then let them, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll shut up about it. But the argument to ban fireworks is so strong that I think we should let Garden Grove residents decide if they want to force the non-profits to make money another less-harmful way.
A couple of years back, Garden Grove City Councilman Mark Rosen told me about an idea to restrict the use of fireworks to a few areas where Garden Grove residents could come out for block-party-type gatherings. RosenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s thinking was that we could concentrate our public services this way, and monitor the type of fireworks being launched. If Leyes succeeds at not allowing Garden Grove residents to decide what they want, we should take a look at a Rosen-like resolution.