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City of Covington

Advisory Proposition No. 1

Sale, Possession, and Discharge of Consumer Fireworks in the City of Covington

The Covington City Council is calling for an advisory election to determine whether the sale, possession, and discharge of consumer fireworks should be prohibited in the City of Covington.

Should the sale, possession, and discharge of consumer fireworks be prohibited in the City of Covington?

Yes

No


Under state law it is legal to discharge consumer fireworks in conjunction with the Fourth of July and New Year’s holidays. It is also legal for persons licensed by the state and city to sell fireworks during those times. State law provides that a city may prohibit fireworks within its city limits, but that such prohibition would be effective no sooner than one year after the adoption of the prohibition by the City Council.

This is a non-binding advisory measure to give each voter the opportunity to express his or her opinion as to whether fireworks should be banned or continue to be permitted in the City of Covington. A “yes” vote is in favor of a ban on fireworks in Covington. A “no” vote is in favor of leaving the law as it is.

While the results of the advisory proposition are not binding on the Council, the Council may consider the results when determining what action, if any, should be taken with regard to regulating the sale, possession, and discharge of consumer fireworks.
 

Dangerous fireworks create serious hazards in our neighborhoods, whether it’s celebrating the 4th of July or the New Year.
We essentially allow anyone, including those from neighboring communities that have prohibited fireworks, to put our lives and theirs in danger. We also allow them to risk damaging our property, and triggering PTSD in our veterans. Seniors, infants and those with compromised health may also be seriously affected. Fireworks put our animals at risk of becoming frightened and disoriented, then becoming lost, injured, and even killed. This summer in King County, two people and their pets perished in home fires caused by neighborhood fireworks.

This ban extends to and protects the dense population of our urban community. This ban should lessen the burden on our first responders. While every offender may not be caught, voluntary compliance along with reasonable enforcement saves lives, homes, and emergency services resources.

The ban perfectly balances civil liberties and community protection by not extending outside the city limits. Within our city, we can then enjoy peace, quiet, and safety, some of the wonderful freedoms we possess as Americans.

Nancy Behm, Joy Cavanaugh, Ed Cook, covingtoncitizens4safety@gmail.com

History Since 1777, fireworks have been a celebratory mainstay in America. They were used to boost morale and raise spirits and this tradition continues today. Most of us can remember a lifetime of Independence Day celebrations.  Block parties, afternoon picnics and BBQ's brought out family, friends, and neighbors, setting aside differences and having fun together. These community gatherings culminated in an evening of fireworks celebrating the founding of America. 

Facts Our sister cities of Maple Valley and Kent have recently restricted fireworks and have turned to city-sponsored firework displays over Lake Wilderness and Lake Meridian. The City of Covington is unique in the fact that we do not have a public lake or area to put on a city-sponsored event. The new LakePoint development in Covington will have a lake and the potential for a firework show in the future. 

Solution Before we consider limiting fireworks there are alternate and additional steps we can take to educate the public.  We can explore and use what has worked well in other communities.  If we work together we can find a solution that works for all and preserves this grand American tradition for future generations. 

Please Vote No on the Firework Advisory.

Patti Melton, Taylor Murray, Rebecca Cleveland

Personal use of fireworks does not boost morale nor raise spirits, it's all about the noise at all hours and for days. Current Laws are ignored.  Neighbor to neighbor intervention often breeds discord. Education of the public hasn’t worked. What has worked in other communities is a ban.   And lastly, there is a free shuttle bus at Kentwood to take people from Covington to the Lake Meridian display.

Vote Yes on the Fireworks Advisory. 

Nancy Behm, Joy Cavanaugh, Ed Cook, covingtoncitizens4safety@gmail.com

Safety is top priority when enjoying fireworks.  Responsible and lawful use of fireworks keeps everyone safe.  Covington residents have taken safety seriously as there were no firework-related fires this year. Statistics show our first responders have not seen an increase in calls on July 4th. 

Until we have a safe location for a city-sponsored event, public awareness, continuing education, and safety promotion in our community are key to a successful and fun Fourth. 

Patti Melton, Taylor Murray, Rebecca Cleveland

This measure is advisory only; there is no validation requirement.

Sharon Scott, City Clerk, 253-480-2405, sscott@covingtonwa.gov

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