November 16, 2008

Has common sense vanished?

The only good thing about a November 25th reconsideration date (below) is we will likely have the final tally on all the damage from the fires of November (likely hundreds of millions). What is just one of those fires was started with fireworks? Even if they were not is 5 houses burned down worth it just for silly fundraising. NO. This is a case of the fireworks companies embedding themselves marketing wise with fundraising groups to insulate themselves from the common sense vote. Its a good strategy. Vote against your house burning down or poor little Timmy whose parents cant get a subsidized baseball uniform without the fireworks. (of course with the money they spent on fireworks they could have bought the uniform at full price)

Although we dont know who to attribute this quite it is somewhat appropriate here:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship."
Alexander Taylor, 1778

In other words voters keep voting for freebies (or fundraising subsidies) until they kill off their government (or the environment) from spending. Now I can think of better examples of this in state government but you see the point.

Lakewood was a test case for Fontana. Hopefully Fontana learns from the Lakewood failure how to beat back the fireworks lobby and the groups they use to hide the peddling of their nasty product.

Fontana City Council to revisit fireworks ban
Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Article Created: 11/11/08

FONTANA - Although election season is over, voters here probably will get one more shot to cast their votes on a hot-button issue.

The deputy city clerk has announced that Citizens for a Safe 4th of July collected enough valid signatures in the summer calling for the City Council to either adopt an ordinance that would allow nonprofits to sell fireworks or allow residents to decide.

Sandra Medina, the deputy clerk, said the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office would confirm this week that there were enough valid signatures.

The council last year unanimously voted to ban the sale of fireworks, effective July 5, because of the fire danger.

But the ban had another impact. Nonprofit groups such as school clubs and church ministries miss out on a major fundraiser.

The citizens' group, funded by Orange County-based TNT Fireworks, gathered more than 8,443 valid signatures necessary to bring the issue back before the Fontana council and, more than likely, voters.

The ordinance would allow nonprofits to again sell so-called "safe-and-sane" fireworks, with provisions for safety enforcement.

The council will determine Nov. 25 whether to adopt the ordinance, Medina said.

If it does not, the council on Dec. 9 will call for a special election, which must take place between 88 and 103 days from the time of the resolution, Medina said.

The election would take place in February, Medina said. The president of TNT (John Kelley) said Monday that because of little contact with city officials, he doesn't know what to expect at the Nov. 25 meeting, but the cost of an election might impact their decision.

"Certainly, there is a price tag for the city," John Kelly said.

Councilwoman Janice Rutherford agreed but said she supports bringing the ordinance before city voters, adding that there is a trade-off between celebrating July Fourth and public safety.

"As with any policy decision, there's a cost for acting and a cost for not acting," Rutherford said.

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