Fourth of July without fireworks?
To the editor:
Fireworks on the Fourth of July – as American as mom and apple pie. Right? And Sanibel is the epitome of small town America, with a parade and fireworks on Independence Day.
At least, that’s been the case for as many years as I can remember. But this year, Sanibel residents will have to leave the Island to enjoy the fireworks that traditionally cap off a perfect small town holiday.
Why? Because our city doesn’t have cash to burn. For at least the past two years, our leaders have been forced to slash city expenses due to revenues that continue to decline as a result of the economic crisis.
Last year, a generous benefactor stepped forward with the roughly $13,200 needed to stage a fireworks display. This year, islanders will look for a display off-island, taking the money they usually spend on-island elsewhere. There may even be those who are tempted to flaunt the law by launching displays of their own. The consequences to our economy and environment could be substantial.
Before the end of their June 1 meeting, City Council members authorized Mayor Ruane to sign a contract with an approved fireworks vendor/presenter in the event enough money materializes in time to locate such a company.
The chances of two miracles occurring in the next few weeks are slim, but Sanibel is a community that can make the seemingly impossible happen.
Please get the word out to anyone you know who might be willing and able to cover the expenses – such a person/organization/business would reap the lasting gratitude of the entire Sanibel community.