Kelso City Council Tuesday rejected proposed fireworks restrictions brought by councilman Jim Hill.
This decision was the culmination of Hill’s long campaign to reduce the number of days when it is permitted to sell, buy and launch fireworks.
Hill insisted many times that the restrictions would not infringe on anyone’s rights.
“We understand that some folks want to celebrate the Fourth of July — somewhat excessively in some people’s opinions,” HIll said. “All we’re asking to do here is to compromise.”
A couple members of the public spoke on the subject as well.
Deborah Kotila said she was concerned about her elderly neighbors.
“We’re not asking for a ban, that’s too much to expect,” Kotila said. “Using some common sense is all it takes. In a world where a lot of things don’t matter, this does matter.”
James Nunes was concerned for his dog, which finds fireworks very distressing. Nunes was not sure more legislation would make much of a difference.
“I don’t necessarily think we need to add anything to the rules, but … this is a dialogue that does have to happen in the community about other people’s rights,” Nunes said.
Mayor David Futcher said he did not believe more rules were going to solve the problem when they aren’t being followed anyway.
“The point is in so many aspects of our society, we fail to respect the other people in our community. That’s the root of the problem here,” Futcher said. “I don’t feel like adding more rules is going to solve anything.”
Ultimately Hill and councilman Larry Alexander were outvoted. The council will take no further action at this time. In other business:
The council awarded $30,000 to the Kelso Housing Authority with HOME Investment Partnership Program funding
The council voted to adopt the Wayfinding Master Plan Program for new city signs and logos. The new system will cost between $75,000 and $85,000.
The council also accepted the resignation of councilman Todd McDaniel who is moving outside of city limits. To replace his position on committees, councilwoman Nancy Malone was added as an alternate to the Three Rivers Regional Wastewater Management Governing Board and Kimberly Lefebvre was added as an alternate to the City Audit Board.
Kelso Police Chief Andy Hamilton acknowledged McDaniel’s 15 years of service on the council.
“I can tell you he has represented the city very well,” Hamilton said. “From a staff perspective I just wanted to say thank you.”