LAKEPORT, California: This past Tuesday, the Lakeport City Council voted 3-2 to call an election on an initiative asking if residents will allow fireworks to return to the city. The current city ordinance prohibits "safe and sane", or simply state-approved, fireworks within city limits. The council now has three options: accept a proposed ordinance authored within the initiative that would allow fireworks, call for an election, or request a study period to work on a compromise. Most of those in groups calling for the legalization of fireworks are urging the council to try and make a compromise, as many feel that the question of fireworks points to a much larger question: the need for more fundraising outlets for local groups and schools.
Indeed, support has largely come from local non-profit groups that sold fireworks in annual fundraisers, with many local parents lamenting the loss of possible funds in the face of education budget cuts. Most, specifically local parent and volunteer Jill Ruzicka Leighton, called on the council to think of other options to raise money to help educate children if they refused to legalize fireworks. Opposition against the initiative from the council has come from the fact that it limits firework sales to four specific non-profits, rather than opening it to all organizations in a more randomized manner.
* City of Lakeport Fireworks Initiative, Measure C (November 2009)