City Council discusses ways to reduce fireworks

MARYSVILLE Police could have a new tool to fight illegal fireworks and reduce the illegal discharge of other products if the Marysville City Council acts on a recommendation to incorporate civil penalties for offenders.

  • Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:56am
  • News

Marysville Police Commander Ralph Krusey displays some of the hundreds of confiscated fireworks seized by police during the Fourth of July holiday. The department responded to 153 complaints

MARYSVILLE Police could have a new tool to fight illegal fireworks and reduce the illegal discharge of other products if the Marysville City Council acts on a recommendation to incorporate civil penalties for offenders.
The Council discussed the potential change to city ordinances at its regular session Monday.
The July 9 meeting did not have as many irate complainers as last year and nobody brought sheaves of spent fireworks to throw on the table as they usually do, but the Council heard citizen complaints and discussed options to reduce or eliminate fireworks in the city.
Why dont we ban fireworks? asked resident Steven Marlo. Do the Tulalips tell Marysville what to do?
The retired Hollywood actor said he had to spend the holiday at his daughters Arlington home to get away from the noise and noted cities such as Seattle, Tacoma and Everett where fireworks are banned completely.
We have no control over what they sell, Mayor Dennis Kendall responded, referring to Boom City on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.
The eight licensed booths in the city sold only safe and sane fireworks, he added, and cities with complete bans still face the same problems Marysville does. Proximity to the areas largest fireworks depot just amplifies problems faced in many other jurisdictions and Kendall said police were working on the problem all throughout the Fourth of July holiday.
Marysville Police responded to 153 fireworks related complaints over four days and issued 12 criminal citations. They were also investigating one arson, according to police chief Rick Smith.
We are following up with the fire marshals office, Smith said. We were very busy.
So we had extra patrols out trying to deal with this, Kendall added. Thats something that were going to continue to work with. Were very concerned. I dont enjoy it, my dog doesnt enjoy it.
Smith said that he wants the department to be proactive and not reactive, and suggested a change in the city code that would allow officers the ability to issue civil penalties. Currently an officer can only issue a criminal citation, but Smith would like them to have the discretion to levy civil infractions that carry a lower burden of proof but could pack a larger financial impact.
That provides us with a little more flexibility, Smith told the council. The change wouldnt apply to illegal fireworks, however. I dont want them on our side.
The ability to issue civil citations would be more fair and equitable, especially for an otherwise law-abiding citizen who was lighting legal fireworks, but not in the legal time frame provided under city ordinance. Issuing a misdemeanor in a case like that causes me personally a little bit of angst, Smith said because that gives the offender a criminal record.
When it gets people is when it hits the wallet, Smith said.
There was an immediate reduction in fireworks problems when his previous jurisdiction, Vancouver, Washington, made the change. He said such a change should also help around New Years as well.
Councilwoman Carmen Rasmussen said the city needs to work on educating citizens, suggesting signs for people to see as they leave the Tulalip Indian Reservation telling them what types of fireworks are illegal in the city. She noted that many of her neighbors werent aware they were lighting illegal products.
Most people are happy to follow the law, they just dont know they are breaking it, Rasmussen.
Smith agreed, suggesting the city use the schools to help teach kids about what is legal and what isnt.

More in News

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading


Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

Arlington closed until April 24 amid COVID-19 outbreak: what’s next?

ARLINGTON – When Arlington public school leaders met for a special meeting… Continue reading