August 8, 2007

Way to go Costa Mesa....Deny the voters!

Apparently the Bush administration is rubbing off on the Costa Mesa city council who felt that it was their prerogative to deny the taxpayers their day at the polls. Kind of ironic when what were talking about is Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Costa Mesa fireworks ban smothered
City Council votes to keep a fireworks ban off of the November 2008 ballot.
The Orange County Register

COSTA MESA A proposal to have Costa Mesa residents decide on the November 2008 ballot whether the sale of "safe and sane" fireworks should be allowed in the city was extinguished Tuesday in a 3-2 vote.

Councilwoman Linda Dixon put the item on the agenda after hearing residents complain about fireworks at numerous council meetings. She recommended that it was time to give the public a choice in the matter.

"Fireworks are not sane and are not safe," Eastside resident Judy Lindsay said. "I wonder what catastrophic event we're waiting for to realize that we need changes."

Dixon drafted a two-pronged approach that would have the public vote on the sale of fireworks and also place a 2 percent increase on the Costa Mesa transient occupancy tax – a fee charged to people who stay in the city's hotels – as a way of backfilling the income generated by firework sales.

Bill Pfeifer, a Northside resident and pit director for the Newport Harbor High School marching band, said fireworks help fund items including uniforms and instruments.

"Without that money, you can't go to tournaments, you can't compete," he said. "You don't have a band."

Councilwoman Wendy Leece said she wasn't ready to take funding away from youth sports, another beneficiary of the sales, without first finding an alternative means of generating revenue.

Councilman Eric Bever said he was also concerned that a higher tax could send visitors "down the street." He said he didn't want to make decisions regarding the occupancy tax if local businesses had not weighed in.

Leece, Bever and Mayor Allan Mansoor voted the proposal down.

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