October 21, 2006

Buena Park Ballot statements in 2004 fireworks referendum

Does this sound Familiar? Same people same tactics...its all about money not safety.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE D (from Buena Park Ballot statements in 2004 fireworks referendum)

Buena Park is one of five remaining cities in Orange County that permits the sale and discharge of fireworks. The other 28 cities banned fireworks to protect the safety and property of their citizens. Because of the ban in surrounding cities, Buena Park’s population swells to over 250,000 each Independence Day. Crowds block streets, take over parks and overrun neighborhoods as they set off legal AND illegal fireworks. Unfortunately, discharging “state approved fireworks” masks illegal fireworks, making law enforcement nearly impossible. The resulting chaos and mess are overwhelming. Buena Park endures each Independence Day one spark away from disaster. Calls to your Police and Fire Departments skyrocketed 400% in the last three years. The alarming truth is no Police Department can protect its citizens from a quarter-million people “legally” discharging dangerous explosives. For six hours each year, Buena Park becomes “a war zone!” The vast majority of California cities prohibit fireworks, calling them “a serious hazard to health, welfare and safety of citizens.” Anaheim outlawed fireworks in 1987 after fireworks burned down an apartment complex, leaving over 200 people homeless. Citizens of Cerritos demanded fireworks be outlawed in 1989 after a home burned to the ground. On July 4, 2002, a nine-year-old boy in Buena Park was killed in front of his family and hundreds of people as fireworks masked the gunshot that ended his life. Today, we have the opportunity to act before another tragedy devastates our community. Fireworks manufacturers claim banning fireworks is unpatriotic. Are cities like Anaheim, Cypress, and Brea less patriotic than Buena Park? The manufacturers’ real issue is losing over $1,000,000 from fireworks sales. Nonprofit groups contend that losing fireworks revenues would be devastating, yet these and similar groups thrive in surrounding cities like La Palma, Fullerton, and Fountain Valley without money from fireworks. The true issue is safety in our community.

s/ Arthur C. Brown, Councilman City of Buena Park
s/ Donald W. McCay, Councilman City of Buena Park
s/ Gary Hicken, Chief of Police Buena Park Police Department
s/ Charles W. Prather Jr, Fire Chief Orange County Fire Authority

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE D Claiming 6,800 people “rallied” to keep fireworks IS NOT TRUE. The petition asked that the ordinance “...be submitted to a vote of the people ...” Measure D is responding to that request. Firework manufacturers claim they paid the cost of Police services last Independence Day. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The 100 Officers needed to keep you safe cost our local taxpayers over $50,000. Next year will cost more! Fireworks manufacturers want you to believe cities that already ban fireworks have the same problems as Buena Park. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Anaheim PD did not put on one extra Police Officer last year. While 20 Officers patrolled Anaheim, a city 5 times the size of Buena Park, 100 Police Officers and added Fire Department personnel were not enough in Buena Park. Fireworks manufacturers repeatedly say Measure D will take away funding from local nonprofit groups and is therefore unpatriotic. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Nonprofit groups thrive in our surrounding communities without fireworks money. The loss of fireworks money has nothing to do with patriotism. Advocates say they will be giving up the traditional way to celebrate Independence Day. This is a false issue. Shooting fireworks in the street makes no one patriotic and is no less a tradition than attending a community fireworks display with your family, such as the one your City sponsors each year at Bellis Park. The real issue is safety. Your vote should be based on providing a safe Buena Park. Vote YES on Measure D to ban fireworks in Buena Park.

s/ Arthur C. Brown, Councilman, City of Buena Park
s/ Donald W. McCay, Councilman, City of Buena Park
s/ Gary Hicken, Chief of Police, Buena Park Police Department
s/ Charles W. Prather Jr, Fire Chief, Orange County Fire Authority

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