Any fireworks set off in San Ramon over the Fourth of July will be neither safe nor sane -- nor legal.
San Ramon city leaders have decided to drop the idea of a "safe and sane" fireworks ordinance after hearing from a number of people, including San Ramon Fire Protection District Chief Richard Price.
When City Council cancelled San Ramon's fireworks display earlier this year, officials asked city staff to come up with ordinance designed to allow so-called "safe and sane" fireworks. Had it been approved, San Ramon residents would have been able to celebrate with fireworks from several designated areas in the city, including California and Dougherty Valley high schools, using fireworks that are legal in California. Dublin is the only Tri-Valley city -- and one of the few in the Bay Area -- which allows the sale of "safe and sane" fireworks such as sparklers.
Eight or so speakers addressed the issue at Tuesday's City Council meeting, with only three of five members in attendance. Although Dave Hudson initially supported the idea, after hearing from Price and the others who spoke, he changed his mind and his vote on the issue.
In February, the city cancelled its fireworks display, an annual tradition since 1985, beginning just two years after the city's incorporation. The event, officials said, had grown as other cities ended their celebrations and people from elsewhere came to San Ramon.
The cost of San Ramon's July 4 celebration came to $175,000 last year, but city staff recommended increasing that to $318,000 to accommodate for additional equipment, personnel and contractor costs.
That proved too much for the city to pay. Instead, The city's Parks and Community Service Commission suggested a smaller, community-focused event this year, with the possibility of bringing pyrotechnics back in the future.