Last summer’s firecracker frenzy that kept the City – and really the region – up for days at a time will not get an encore is Councillor Todd Taylor has his say, along with thousands of residents that called him and other councillors last summer.
At Monday’s Council meeting, Taylor proposed a new amendment to the City’s noise ordinance that would all for a $300 fine on the first offense for anyone shooting off fireworks in the City. Such fines could be given out by the police, fire or ISD departments.
“We do not want to have a repeat of last year,” he said. “We need to make the ordinance stronger to discourage this. I do think this was a major problem for our residents last year. I think I got dozens and dozens and dozens of calls, some in the same day about fireworks going off until 3 a.m. or later in the morning. There is ample will in the public to do this.”
Councillor Calvin Brown agreed with the matter.
“It was the spirit of the time,” he said. “People were locked in and then we had George Floyd. I would say $300 is a lot, but if that’s what it takes, then ok.”
Councillor Naomi Zabot said she received many calls about the fireworks last year, particularly from veterans and people with PTSD – not to mention essential workers that needed to sleep and people with pets.
Councillor Damali Vidot said she understood the issue, and agreed it needed to be dealt with. However, she said $300 is too much and people who are trying to have a good time need to be considered as well.
“I get it’s something we need to address,” she said.
“I also feel like we live in a City and if we want quiet we should probably move to the ‘burbs,” she said. “I’m not saying I’m against this, but I’m trying to give another side because there are people in the community that think giving such a hefty fine is a bit ridiculous, especially when we won’t fine people for not wearing masks in the midst of a pandemic. We’re telling people that are unemployed, laid off, aren’t paying rent or mortgages, and we’re talking about fining them $300 for having a good time.”
She said the matter needed more discussion and probably further discussion about the amount of the fine. The amendment to the ordinance was moved to a Committee on Conference