Fireworks price tag

Dear Editor:Your front page story concerning the City Council's approval to pay a $50,000 price tag for a 25-minute fireworks show is beyond ridiculous in today's economy. ("City Agrees to Pay for July 4 Fireworks Show," 5/29/09) Mayor Pro Tem Anne Bayer shows the kind of leadership local, state and federal governments are in desperate need of. Cities are being required to cut back on emergency services, libraries, teachers and other services they provide. Does the city of Downey have a golden goose hidden somewhere? As mentioned, the city's emergency services spike July 4 and yet the city is planning to provide $3,500 for police and fire personnel at this event when they could be better utilized protecting property and combating the use of illegal fireworks throughout the city. Illegal fireworks contribute to the majority of property damage and physical injuries during the July 4 holiday, and will continue to be used regardless of providing a costly $50,000 fireworks display. Mayor Mario Guerra's logic that this event could help prevent house fires and burn injuries is a weak argument to splurge big bucks for a few minutes of thrills watching a fireworks display. If he is so concerned, he should spend his efforts passing an ordinance to ban all fireworks, legal and illegal in the city. Then maybe the city's emergency services would not spike and property damage and injuries would not occur, thus saving money and creating a safer community. Most citizens stay home and enjoy family barbecues on July 4. Is this "apprehensive" planned festival for the benefit of the city fathers or the city's taxpayers? Save the money. It may be needed for more important city necessities. Expenditures like this should be presented on a city ballot. Let the people who pay the bills decide how their monies are to be spent. - Art Contessotto, Downey

Dear Editor: I pondered the use of $50,000 for Downey's July 4 fireworks show and said to myself, "Does the expenditure, at a time when all levels of government should be tightening up the belts, favor the taxpayers?" Even the location for Downey's night has some features that need careful analysis as to safety measures, fire/medical/police, etc. The neighbors in the triangle of homes between Lakewood Boulevard and Clark and Imperial might have some concerns for the traffic, safety, etc. - Donn C. Irving, Downey

********** Published: June 12, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 8