Breaks The Tie.
The Carthage City
Council during Tuesdays regular session
agreed to table two ordinances in their first
reading that, if approved, would allow the use of
fireworks within City limits during New
Years Eve and the week of July 4th and
allow the sale of fireworks within City limits.
As the ordinances
have been tabled they will return to the Public
Safety committee for further discussion and
citizens participation period of the
meeting, citizen H.J. Johnson urged the Council
to seek more public input on the ordinance.
Johnson distributed to Council members a
"public issues forum discussion guide"
compiled by David Burton for the University of
Missouri Extension on the topic of banning
fireworks. Johnson cited the guide, saying that
he felt a public forum would be appropriate for
an issue such as the use of fireworks. Johnson
also noted that the current ordinance has been in
effect for nearly 60 years (see The Truth).
the ordinance for Council discussion, Council
member and Public Safety Committee Chair Mike
Harris said he felt that the 4th of July was a
growing holiday, and he felt that citizens should
be allowed to celebrate with fireworks. Harris
also said that he thought the City would be able
to gain some revenue in sales tax by allowing
fireworks sales within City limits.
Larry Ross said he agreed with citizen Johnson
that the City should hold an additional public
hearing to seek more input on the matter.
Bill Johnson agreed and made a motion to table
the ordinance for further discussion.
responded that he had no problem with seeking
more input, but added that the ordinance had been
through typical committee discussion process with
little input from citizens. Harris added that the
current ordinance is difficult for the Police to
Bill Fortune said he agreed with Harris that the
public had already had an opportunity for input,
during the committee discussions of the
ordinance, but said that he also did not have a
problem with returning the item to the committee
level. Fortune added that a similar discussion
was brought before Council approximately 5 years
The motion to
table the ordinance concerning the sale of
fireworks was split 5-5. Those opposed included;
Mike Harris, Cynthia Curry, Diane Sharits, Tom
Flanigan and Dan Rife. Those in favor included;
Claude Newport, Larry Ross, Bill Fortune, Bill
Welch and Bill Johnson. Mayor Woestman broke the
tie by voting in favor of tabling the ordinance.
The motion to
table the ordinance concerning the use of
fireworks within City limits was also tabled, but
in a 7-10 vote. Those in favor included; Claude
Newport, Larry Ross, Bill Fortune, Bill Johnson,
Bill Welch, Tom Flanigan and Dan Rife. Those
against included; Mike Harris, Cynthia Curry and
Chief Dennis Veach has accepted an offer by the
city of Sachse, Texas to become their Police
Chief Veach says
that he has not officially resigned, and still
has to pass a physical and psychiatric exam
before he is officially accepted for the
position. He thinks those hurdles will be
completed within the next two weeks and he could
be relocating within the month.
Veach has been
Carthage Police Chief for the last nine years.
819. No person, shall, within the limits of the
City of Carthage, shoot, set off, explode or
discharge any blank cartridge, torpedo cane,
torpedo, fire cracker, or any substance
containing chlorate of potash and sulphur, or
devise for exploding or discharging such
substances, or any other fireworks. Provided,
however, that fireworks displays, to be conducted
by experts or person who make a profession of
holding fireworks displays, may be held within
the limits of said City after having first
obtained the written permission therefor, from
the City Marshall.
820. No person shall sell, offer for sale, or
give away within the City of Carthage, any blank
cartridge, torpedo, torpedo cane, fire cracker,
or any substance containing chlorate of potash
and sulphur, or any other fireworks.
According to Glynn.
Reprinted from March 8, 2002
The ordinance that
currently prohibits the discharge of fireworks
within the City limits of Carthage was approved
by a 10-0 vote of the Council in 1948 according
to Glynn Evans. Evans was a Councilman at the
time and introduced the bill he says.
The incentive for
the ban on fireworks came from three hunting
dogs. Evans, Bill Putnam, Sr., and another friend
had hunting dogs at the time and all three dogs
ran off to escape the ring of fireworks in 1947
according to the story. Evans got a phone call a
couple weeks later from Putnam with the news that
the Putnam dog had been found hit by a car and
The Evans dog was
eventually located in Baxter Springs alive and
well. The other friends dog eventually
ended up at the Evans home.
Evans and Putnam
checked at McCune-Brooks were told that eight
patients were treated on July 4th for injuries
from fireworks, six of them children.
Evans says that
with the urging of Putnam, he sponsored the bill
to ban fireworks in Carthage.