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Council Says No to 'Safe and Sane' Fireworks

After looking into the idea of selling "Safe and Sane" fireworks in San Ramon, the council decided it was a bad idea for the community.

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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obwan-k April 12, 2012 at 05:34 AM
OBWAN-K This hoopla about legalizing fireworks is insane. The council is RIGHT, the noise, and possibility of fire or other harm far outweighs the so call fun in having such fire works. Legalizing such fireworks always carries with it the possibility of non sane fireworks being mixed in and wait until one lands on someone's wood shake roof. Where is the Fun then? The council is right in not approving safe and sane fireworks in San Ramon.
Dave Enright April 12, 2012 at 06:09 AM
One reason I can see not allowing them in San Ramon....they are ILLEGAL in Contra Costa County and the last I checked, San Ramon is in Contra Costa County. I'm not that upset we aren't having fireworks in San Ramon as it hasn't been a San Ramon thing for many, many years. It became our city getting invaded by citizens of other cities. Sayonara.......now maybe I can get around the city that weekend!
Arlene Raffo April 12, 2012 at 07:50 AM
Everyday public officials are taking away our family traditions. Perhaps it woulb be better if our children just watch the firework displays on TV. How boring! We need our children to have a sense of pride in their country, learn about our history & be kids. We made it, I am 44 - let's celebrate our country from our homes not some insane TV show or coordine offed area for designated fireworks - where we have to pack up the whole family, bring jacket (just in case), travel to the designated area, get parking and I think by now the fireworks show would be over. Plus selling safe and sane fireworks is an excellent way to raise money for our schools, churches, etc. Thanks for reading and lets get back to family traditions and not over commercialized holidays. It is about families being together
Mario Vig April 12, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Safe and sane fireworks would bring back a family tradition that I had living in Newark and Dublin. If San Ramon brings that to the table then San Ramon would truly be supporting a family event, being a family city. As for the negative impacts that this brings on, well lets do what Newark and Dublin are doing, warn residents what the ramifications would be for bringing illegal fireworks in and all the patrol that was used for patrolling the fireworks event could be used to enforce safe and sane fireworks for the night. I actually think safe and sane fireworks would decreases the popularity of gaining illegal fireworks. If you ban safe and sane then the illegal fireworks are attractive to everyone wanting to do fireworks. If you legalize safe and sane I believe you would see a decrease of those buying the illegals to the safe and sane.
Dave Enright April 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Safe and Sane hasn't been a "tradition" in San Ramon. I'm glad you had that "tradition" in Newark and Dublin and I'm sorry, for you and your family, that you chose to move to a place that doesn't share in your family "traditions." I choose to live here for the great quality of life. The annual fireworks that the City of San Ramon paid for with tax dollars of its CITIZENS has not been for its citizens for a vey long time. There's a reason why the streets are clogged and you can't get from Chevy's to the new Safeway on Bollinger in less than 25 minutes during that event. It's because San Ramon gets invaded with people from all the other cities that woke up a long time ago and realized it wasn't a cost efficient thing to provide. Now if every citizen wants to cough up an extra $100 or so per year to pay for a "tradition" that is shared by more than 25,000 non-citizens than go for it. I'm not willing to shell out $500 for my family every year so others can enjoy what I'm paying for. Good move by the council and I applaud them in their cost cutting measures. The cost of the fireworks is only the beginiing. I can only imagine what it costs in overtime for the fire and police departments as well as Parks and Recreation to other city services. There's a lot more involved than JUST the cost of fireworks. As for Safe and Sane, I don't have a problem with it really, but it is illegal in Contra Costa County. Can San Ramon just approve the use without running afoul of the county? Anyone?

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