Tough times on the horizon….
Posted: 28 November 2012 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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April 2013, Commissioner Matta is swon in as Mayor.  That should prove to be an interesting year!!!!  Last night was a shining example of the micro-management/huge ego style we could well see in our local government.

The Commission was… again… discussing the discharge of fireworks.  It was quite apparent that 4 of the 5 commissioners were against any ban.  However, the proposed ordinance changes allow for a ban if the environmental conditions pose a fire hazard.  Kansas is in a bad drought.  If we see no substantial moisture, the dry conditions could pose a significant fire hazard resulting from sparks, etc.  The proposed ordinance gave the authority to make the decision of a fire hazard ban to the Fire Chief.  He is the one most in touch with the State, County, and other fire officials.  Our Mayor ProTem wanted nothing to do with a decision made by anyone other than the Mayor himself.  Allow the safety of the citizens and their property to lie with a political figure, who can pump up his chest and see his name in print, rather that leaving the decision with the professionals. 

If such arrogance persists into this commissioner’s term as Mayor, we’re in for some “entertaining” viewing on Tuesday evenings.

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Posted: 28 November 2012 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It was clear the Jim Sherow was 100% for a ban.  My personal view is that I do not like the noise over the four days.  I can do without the individual fireworks displays.  I am not sure how the majority of the citizens view the issue.  I have sufficient space around my house so that I am not in fear of some irresponsible person setting it on fire by launching fireworks.  As I walk around town on the 4th, it does appear that large numbers of folks blast off fireworks -most illegally in the street, a violation of the law, but not enforced at any level.  I guess it is like the beer & alcohol during KSU football games, illegal as the signs say at the parking lot, but not enforced.  As an individual I can live with either a ban or a continuation of the current system.  As for the possible ordinance giving the mayor the authority after consultation with the experts – the Fire Chief – the authority to ban sales and discharge of fireworks during drought conditions seems reasonable.  It combines the elected official with the experts and would never be done in isolation.  So it is not really correct to say the safety of the citizens and their property rests with a political figure, rather the professionals.  The idea combines both the political and the fire professionals in the decision making process.  In either case the work session just provided some brain storming and guidance to the staff on possible ordinance changes.

A future legislative session will end up voting on possible ordinance changes and maybe even a motion will be made for an outright ban of sales and discharge of fireworks.  I tend to agree that it will be difficult to get three votes for an outright ban. 

One thing that was not mentioned on Tuesday which may have merit is a possible ballot initiative in April.  A simple vote on a city wide fireworks ban, expect for licensed professional displays. This would let the citizens decide and put the item to rest for ten years or so.    Any thoughts on the idea of a ballot initiative? 

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Posted: 29 November 2012 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I guess it is like the beer & alcohol during KSU football games, illegal as the signs say at the parking lot, but not enforced.

Really! You’re kidding right? Maybe some equality is due on this subject. Meaning that state law prohibits it on the state properties so get it out of the press boxes or quite focusing on the east non-asphalt areas. Kind of “profiling” wouldn’t you say? Don’t give me some song and dance about how they have a rental contract with different guidelines either. I rent the parking space just as the ones on the asphalt do yet I do not see them being harassed. Underage is one thing what I see has more to do with status than anything else. Obviously you and I do not agree on this one.

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Posted: 29 November 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you Dave.

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Posted: 30 November 2012 10:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Dave:  Not sure what your point is and I fail to see what we might agree or disagree on.  I have never been in the press box.  The issue is that like fireworks some laws are not enforced, that is a fact.  I am not advocating ticketing everyone in the asphalt part of the stadium or any of the grass parking areas.  Where in the world do you get the idea that I am advocating profiling?  I would agree that the rules are a bit strange as you can cater the drinks to selected areas of the stadium, but it is banned in others.  Simple comparison – shooting fireworks off in the street, not enforced.  Drinking in areas prohibited by Law also not enforced during KSU football games.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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WYNN- maybe we should change that. With all the funds being cut there is one thing people always buy. BEER. Then people would go to the city meetings- You could sell BEER for $10 for a 6oz cup.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Wynn, I guess it is going without being said I may have jumped the gun some on that one. Yet unlike the fireworks laws that appear to either not be enforced or to be enforced equally across the board. Whereas your comparison to the sign at the stadium parking is not equal in my eyes as according to state law it is illegal on state property yet there is no enforcement on the asphalt and I again watched as beer was dumped this past Saturday in the grass with it setting on the tables in the asphalt areas. That is just wrong, that is why I consider it profiling. It’s a “status” thing, how much money you got and where you park. (You clarified your view on that - - Thanks)Yet like the fireworks issue there are year round ordinances that are not enforced and in some cases it’s because we do not know that two city blocks is over 50’ in distance. For me, if the law is not going to be enforced just get rid of it. For me that only allows for the use of that law based on one person’s attitude at the time. Again thanks for clarifying your stance on the subject. I guess it is not a form of profiling if laws are enforced on state properties unless you park in certain areas or sit in or out of a given space. This is off the beaten path my apologizes for not staying on topic.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I believe the blasting off of fireworks in the streets provision is one of the State Laws, but the concept is sound about get rid of all ordinances that are not enforced, I am with you on that one.  Josh – that is some expensive beer at $10 a six Oz cup.  I think we do have a few local and state laws that just would not let us make the beer sales in City Hall.  The good news is that the state driven special alcohol tax provides good income to the city general fund, parks & recreation and social services.

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