Waldoboro resident Ray Perkins submitted a petition Oct. 19 to have the town's fireworks ordinance brought back to voters next June.

Perkins collected 235 signatures to validate the petition, which required 222, but upon verification by Town Clerk Eileen Dondlinger, Perkins needed to obtain more signatures, as several were from residents not registered to vote.

He resubmitted his petition Oct. 29.

The petition to the Board of Selectmen asks to "declare the Waldoboro Consumer Fireworks Ordinance currently in effect to be null and void, and replace it with one that prohibits sale, ownership and discharge of consumer fireworks in Waldoboro."

Currently, fireworks cannot be set off after 10 p.m. on most nights. On some holidays, the cutoff is extended to 12:30 a.m.

Perkins said he has heard a lot of complaints about fireworks, with some people being terrified.

The petition further states "Aerial fireworks displays for public viewing, set off by nonprofit organizations, will be allowed between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Waldoboro Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and New Year's Eve by written permit."

At the Sept. 11 Board of Selectmen's meeting, Perkins said the way the ordinance is written, he believes it reinforces the use of fireworks, and he claimed the fireworks are nothing like what he had as a kid.

Town Manager Julie Keizer said people enjoy the freedom of letting off fireworks and they think the ordinance is fine, but the police department should do a better job of enforcing it when there are complaints.

However, Perkins feels strongly about creating a change in the town's fireworks ordinance or banning fireworks outright, and thus has written a letter to Maine Attorney General Janet Mills to try to get her involved.

Perkins said on one occasion he felt threatened as he was driving home when 25 or 30 rounds, resembling pistol shots, went off near his car.

Keizer said although she appreciates the fact that concerns are being brought to the Select Board and posted on Facebook, such incidents should be reported to the police and Town Office so that enforcement of the ordinance can take place.

On Oct. 31, Dondlinger said Perkins ended up with 223 signatures.

"I have certified the results and gave the petition to the town manager to give to the board  at their next meeting," she said. "They then accept [the petition] and take action to put it on the next ballot for the town."

Perkins hopes the article will be on the referendum ballot at the next town meeting in June 2019.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.