Move to toughen fireworks rules gets extinguished

By Traci Chapman
Published on March 6, 2008

After months of study, a move to revamp Mustang’s fireworks ordinances fizzled Tuesday.

In a split 5-2 vote, City Council members left the ordinances as-is, after considering the results of a survey sent to residents last fall. In moving to keep the status quo, Ward 5 Councilwoman Linda Hagan said the time had come to put the issue to rest.

“My motion is we leave our laws as they are and move on,” she said. “The people have spoken.”

City officials tabulated residents’ survey results in January. At that time, City Manager David Cockrell said 2,161 households returned surveys. Residents had three options — choosing to prohibit fireworks in Mustang, leaving ordinances as-is or considering some change to the city’s policies while not banning fireworks.

Of the 2,161 responses received, 830 residents — more than 38 percent — said they wanted to continue allowing fireworks with no change in city ordinances. More than 34 percent, or 746 surveys, indicated a preference to allow fireworks but suggested some ordinance change. The remaining 27 percent — 585 households — suggested that fireworks should be banned.

Council members delayed making a decision about changing the ordinances in January to give local businesses a chance to give some feedback about the issue. No business owners came forward with ideas or a response to the survey results.
Ward 1 Councilman Jay Adams said residents had made their preference clear.

“I believe the surveys told us a lot,” he said.

Two members — Mayor Jeff Landrith and Ward 2 Councilwoman Kathleen Moon — voted against Hagan’s motion. Moon said she was disappointed that no changes would be made in the ordinances, but it was clear that further discussion of the issue would be “meaningless,” although she disagreed with the overall interpretation of the survey results.

“I don’t think the surveys were that clear-cut — to keep the laws as they are,” she said. “You had more than 50 percent of the households wanting at least some type of change, if not banning them outright. I am not happy with this outcome at all.”

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