When the San Ramon City Council cancelled , it wanted to explore the possibility of selling legal fireworks to individuals in San Ramon. On Tuesday night, that exploration ended.
With Mayor Bill Clarkson and councilman Scott Perkins absent, the council voted 3-0 to cease all efforts to legalize "Safe and Sane" fireworks in San Ramon.
Though "Safe and Sane" fireworks are legal in a number of California cities, including Dublin, the council heard strong disagreement to the idea in public comment. Residents, a member of the policy committee that looked into the proposed ordinance and San Ramon Valley Fire District Chief Richard Price all said that legalized fireworks would be bad for the community.
"I don't really see any upside to doing this," Price said. "I could not be more strongly opposed to these fireworks in this community."
The idea to have "Safe and Sane" fireworks in the city was championed by councilman Dave Hudson.
He said the sale of "Safe and Sane" fireworks would bring thousands of dollars to San Ramon non-profit organizations and the legal fireworks posed almost no threat to public safety.
Hudson gave statistics on "Safe and Sane" fireworks, saying that there are only 2.8 injuries for every 100,000 people that use them.
"To have these legal fireworks, are you afraid of something you don't need to be afraid of?" Hudson rhetorically asked.
The other two councilmembers disagreed.
Phil O'Loane said he regretted his vote at the Feb. 28 meeting that had a policy committee look into "Safe and Sane" fireworks and that it would be a bad idea for the city.
"What it boils down to is I don't see a compelling reason to do this," O'Loane said.
Councilman Jim Livingstone agreed with O'Loane and said though there could be some financial benefits it didn't outweigh the possible consequences.
"Public safety is my No. 1 job and there is no way in my mind that legalizing fireworks of any kind is a plus for public safety," Livingstone said.
Though Hudson spoke in favor on continuing a dialogue with residents on legalizing safe fireworks, he voted with O'Loane and Livingstone against the ordinance.
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