Will they or won't they? That's the question. Will the Port Angeles City Council vote to ban fireworks within city limits, or will they go with the status quo?
In a sense, I have mixed feelings about this issue. On one hand, to me, banning fireworks is a no-brainer. They're totally unnecessary, incredibly disruptive and potentially dangerous, and, at best, are a source of trash, smoke and other pollution. Who needs 'em?
Celebrate American freedom by blowing up cheap garbage
made in China! God bless us everyone?
On the other hand, it's harmful to set up laws and bans that you don't have the resources to actually enforce. The City already announced it doesn't have the resources to enforce traffic laws - do you really think they'll be able to enforce a fireworks ban if it passes? Would police officers really give out tickets? Or would it be a wink and nod system - like so much in Clallam County - that really only serves to reinforce the narrative that Clallam County is wide open when it comes to breaking the law? (See also today's story about the back-and-forth moves of Clallam County's code enforcement, as well as the recent stories of burglary victims having to solve their own crimes.) Could an unenforceable ban actually serve to further cynicism about the efficacy of local government?
Let's face it, a fireworks ban would be a change, and the Port Angeles City Council is remarkably resistant to change. The first time I remember this issue actually being discussed was years ago, when Max Mania got on the Council. He and then Fire Chief Dan McKeen tried to push it forward, and got no support from other Council members. The City Council has essentially the same makeup now as it did then (all those uncontested elections), but McKeen is now City Manager. Is that enough of a change to make change?
I guess we'll see which way the wind seems to be blowing next Tuesday night...Bring your popcorn.