Next year, Pacifica voters will decide whether to allow the continued sale of TNT “safe and sane” fireworks sales.
The sales have long been controversial. Many in the area oppose them for environmental, safety or aggravation reasons. Others support fireworks sales as a fun tradition that benefits the numerous nonprofit organizations that sell them. Representatives from the nonprofits said they could not make up the money fireworks sales generate any other way.
At the Feb. 8 Pacifica City Council meeting, Councilmember Mike O’Neill raised the idea of asking voters to decide during an upcoming election. The others agreed.
“It’s been 15 years since it went to a public vote,” he said.
Waiting until November 2022 will cost the city the least to add the ballot measure, as a City Council election is already on the schedule, said City Manager Kevin Woodhouse. The ballot measure language will match the last one.
“The fire danger is excessive. I cannot overlook that,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mary Bier.
Councilmember Sue Vaterlaus said she and the other council members received between 200 and 300 emails from the nonprofit groups that sell them, all in favor of keeping the fireworks sales.
Councilmember Tygarjas Bigstyck said he really likes fireworks, but is concerned about the fire danger. He suggested the nonprofits work together to stage a professional fireworks show, charge admission and collect additional revenue from parking and food booths.