Submitted by KM Hills.
Forth of July is by far my favorite holiday. Ever since I was a child I have loved fireworks whether they were safe and sane fireworks which we lite off in our backyard or were professional fireworks at a local show.
I remember in the good old days, before The City of Lakewood existed, the Villa Plaza (aka Towne Center) would have a professional show near the old cinema. I have attended City Council meetings on and off for years and I remember when The City first set specific dates for firework discharge.
That was back when General Harrison was Mayor and I don’t know if he, like me, just loves watching fireworks or if being a retired general he was just that patriotic but he seemed to support the fireworks vs banning them. The City is again looking at further restrictions on fireworks and in the last council meeting it was brought up that they may even consider banning them all together.
With the Pandemic this year there were no professional firework shows to be seen but WOW the Lakewood sky sure looked good lit up with amazing displays everywhere my head turned. There may be a few people that wish to restrict or ban fireworks but from the look of the sky on July Fourth I would say an overwhelming majority had a show in their backyards.
When I heard one of the council members mention a ban it got me wondering how big a problem fireworks are in the City of Lakewood. So, I filed a public records request (#20519) with The City to see how many violations there were between July 01, 2019 and July 10, 2020.
To my surprise Not A Single Citation had been issued. In comments I submitted to the Council for the public hearing on fireworks I quoted the Public Safety Advisory Committee “At the direction of council the Public Safety Advisory Committee conducted informal surveys, held discussions and reviewed regulations in place in neighboring jurisdictions. The result of that work was a recommendation not to amend city code due to a low impact of the calls for service around fireworks discharges.”
It really makes me ponder why with recent input from their own Advisory Committee and with no citations during the course of two July 4th’s and one New Years is the Council even considering to restrict or ban fireworks?
One last question . . . If they do ban them all together does that mean The City will step up and put on a professional show at the average cost of $1,000 per minute? I mean the Steilacoom show is awesome to watch but getting in and out of the great town is a challenge.