Town officials: Fireworks ordinance a dud
Lincolnville — A majority of Lincolnville selectmen on May 22 said while they did not personally support a proposed fireworks ordinance due to unclear enforcement language, each decided to send it to voters.
Town Administrator David Kinney said the enforcement portion of the proposed ordinance is "written very vaguely because no one has yet been duly authorized by the board." That point proved to be contentious with selectmen as well.
"There's things in here I am not going to vote for," Select Board Chairman Ladleah Dunn said, adding there was enough public concern about the issue she felt obligated to allow voters a chance to address it. "I hear over and over that 'you guys do stuff without us knowing.' I'm going to have my vote; you'll have your vote."
"I don't think there's been a meeting that I have not beat the enforcement portion to death," Selectman Jason Trundy said. "Because I knew it was a big obstacle. ...There are individuals ... that do not know what good neighbor means and won't respect them."
"Personally, I would not vote for this, it's ludicrous," Selectman Julia Libby said.
While the remaining two selectmen did not share their thoughts on the ordinance, Rosey Gerry pointed out there were people who used fireworks beyond the state-restricted time of 10 p.m.
"There was no question there was some abuse," he said.
Trundy noted any enforcement would require funding, that in turn would require voter approval.
"There would be dollar signs attached to that. ... We can't just wave a magic wand and create that money," he said.
Trundy said every municipality in Waldo County faces a similar problem of enforcing ordinances as few have their own police department but instead rely on county and state police.
Most attendees of the public hearing — less than a half dozen people — agreed a public education campaign might be more effective than the vaguely-worded ordinance, including select board hopeful Cathy Hardy.
"I agree, a public campaign would be more in line," she said.
The proposed fireworks ordinance will appear on the June 10 ballot. Resident Jim Sinclair asked, should the ordinance be approved and complaints received, how would it be enforced? Dunn said each circumstance would be addressed on its own merits.
"Vote. Talk to your friends, neighbors. Hopefully a good, constructive conversation happens," she said.
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.
Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.
Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.
Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.
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