To the editor:
Last month a petition was presented to the Perry City Council, asking for a change in the city’s fireworks ordinance. This petition had 549 signatures; 549 adults of voting age put their names on the line to ask for a change in the city ordinance.
The city council chose to ignore and not even discuss the petition. In doing so, they disrespected the opinion of more than 500 citizens.
On July 4, 2021, the use of fireworks was allowed in Perry. In my block, there are 22 houses. Of these 22 homes, eight of us were shooting off fireworks that night. Two of my neighbor’s houses, that were not setting off fireworks, were outside enjoying the neighborhood display.
That is basically a 50% participation rate in the neighborhood. It was fun watching what the neighbors were shooting off. I ran out of fireworks about 10 p.m., so I watched the neighborhood displays. I was really impressed. All around the neighborhood, in all directions, fireworks were going off, and it was a great show.
People in town were having fun, and what is wrong with that?
Then the complainers and exaggerators started to call. Some people live to complain and love to stir up problems.
We have a petition with 549 signatures. That is about one-third the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election in Perry. How many exaggerators and complainers did our city council hear from? Fifty or maybe 100 at most, but nowhere near 500. The petition had more than 500 signatures.
In fact, 549 signatures is a pretty impressive number. That is 57 more signatures than votes received by Perry Mayor John Andorf in the last election. That is 69 more signatures than votes that City Council member Vicki Klein received in the same election and 167 more signatures than votes that Chuck Schott received when he was elected in 2019.
When broken down by the wards in Perry, the petition had more signatures than the council members received in votes. In Ward 1, Dean Berkland received 143 votes. The petition had 151 signatures in Ward 1. In Ward 2, the candidate received 20 votes, and the petition had 147 signatures. In Ward 3, Barb Wolling received 107 votes, and the petition had 177 signatures in Ward 3.
The number of signatures was higher than the total breakdown by precinct; 74 signatures on the petition did not provide a street address on the petition.
I have heard several people state that if the city of Perry is accepting sales tax revenue from the fireworks tents in town. then the city should allow the people to enjoy fireworks one day in the year.
The people of this town are speaking. The Perry City Council should not ignore the petition and should schedule the petition for discussion at their 9 a.m. meeting on June 30.