Dominator Fireworks

Dominator Fireworks Home Page

Mar 19, 2010

City: Fireworks show canceled unless community pays

DATE: March 16, 2010
DETAILS: LOS ALAMITOS – The council is asking the community to pay $15,000 for the 4th of July Firework Spectacular or the show will be canceled.

Council members on Monday were torn on whether or not to fund the show, but budget constraints pushed the council to look to the community for support.

In a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Gerri Mejia abstaining, the council canceled the show but residents and businesses will have until April 15 to pledge donations. If the funds are raised, the show will be reinstated, city officials said.

The 4th of July Firework Spectacular at the Joint Forces Training Base has been held in the city for more than 20 years, drawing crowds of up to 20,000 people.

"We owe it to the community to let them know the 4th of July is in jeopardy ... and maybe they will rally around it," Mayor Marilyn Poe said.

The council is facing a nearly $600,000 budget shortfall this year and Councilman Troy Edgar said the city may have to offset as much as $1 million in 2010-11. He said he couldn't justify spending nearly $15,000 when cuts are being made to people and services.

"Our staff took 10 percent pay cut but (we're thinking about) spending this," he said. "I'm concerned about the message that sends to staff."

The city last year spent $9,600 on the show. The total cost of the show last year was about $19,000 but Cypress co-sponsors the event and picks up half of the tab. The city also solicits donations from Seal Beach, Rossmoor and various businesses to cover costs.

This year, however, costs would increase significantly because the holiday falls on a Sunday and city workers would have to be paid double time, said Director of Recreation and Community Services Angie Avery.

"Our expenditures are going up, they're not going down," she told the council.

Resident JM Ivler spoke to the council on behalf of his daughter to support saving the show, which he said has been a community staple for many years.

"Please don't do this," he said. "(My daughter) felt it would be a great loss to take away something that's been part of her community since she's lived here."

Staff explored various options but Avery said they were met with dead ends.

"We've spent hours talking about this," Avery said. "It's the personnel costs that are the killer for this event, really."

The city cannot ask a fee for vehicles and pedestrians for the show because the base cannot charge people to enter a federal installation, base spokeswoman Laura Herzog said.

Herzog added the city could try to solicit donations from inside the event but council members agreed the plan was too risky to bank on.

However, resident and former Councilwoman Alice Jempsa said in light of the current economic climate, the responsible thing for the city to do is cancel the show.

"We'd rather see those broken sidewalks fixed ... or street repairs," she said. "With this financial time, I'd be very weary about putting money into something like this."

User Image
met00cigar wrote:
$15,000. Not $1,500.

22 years ago the City Council cut a deal with the residents. They ended the non-profit sale of fireworks and said that there would be no fireworks in the city limits. BUT (big but there) in return the City would provide the residents and community with a fireworks display.

By reneging on the agreement to provide a display, the residents and citizens should have the right to run their own displays if they so choose.

You can't cut a deal with the people and then renege on it and not expect them to blow off their side of the terms of the agreement. The City Council is reneging on their arrangement with the people, the people have to no longer keep their side of the agreement.
3/16/2010 7:14 PM PDT on
User Image
etirpsha wrote:
Let's see, how does that $15,000 expenditure of taxpayer money qualify as a necessary public service? Doesn't more road repair, for example, need more funding than a few thousand people watching that tax money burn up in the air in a matter of seconds?

Why not return to the original American tradition of ringing the school and church bells throughout the land. It is a great tradition that our children and those throughout our neighborhood thoroughly enjoyed. All the kids took turns ringing the bell until they reached the number of years of independence!
3/16/2010 12:54 PM PDT on
User Image
doug548 wrote:
I would be willing to bet even if they raised the money they would still cancell the show and divert the money into the general fund.
3/16/2010 11:57 AM PDT on
User Image
fourcrows wrote:
Where does the council think it gets it`s money in the first place? From tax-payers you lug nuts. So even if the city pays, the tax- payers are still paying!!!!!!!
3/16/2010 11:55 AM PDT on
User Image
hoocares wrote:
We sold cotton candy on 4th of July there and made over $800.00 in about 4 hours. Fund Raiser people.
3/16/2010 10:40 AM PDT on
User Image
I used to buy Fireworks every year, but with the price of gas instead of driving to the stand, I just light my wallet on fire. Saves me a trip!
3/16/2010 10:21 AM PDT on
User Image
it doesnt take much
3/16/2010 10:19 AM PDT on
User Image
Huh? $1500? I'm sure they could raise that with a few car washes or a save-the-fireworks-athon or a few other fundraisers. Is that the right number?
3/16/2010 10:12 AM PDT on


Post a Comment

<< Home