Music to my ears: Howell City Council taking up fireworks issue on Monday

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This squeaky wheel is feeling like a greasing may be in the works.

Howell residents have made known their dissatisfaction with the results of the bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder, which makes it legal for Michigan folks over 18 to buy and shoot off assorted fireworks, including bottle rockets and Roman candles.

The result of the wrong-headed legislation is that it’s been damn noisy where I live every single night this month, except for when it’s rained. As I write this, it’s 10:25 p.m. on Thursday and some nearby yahoo is shooting off what sounds like bottle rockets — lots and lots of bottle rockets. While I am annoyed, my dog is terrified.

On Monday, June 25, the Howell City Council will discuss a new ordinance that would prohibit the use of fireworks except for federal holidays and the day before and after. According to information in the council’s meeting packet, a new ordinance could be introduced on Monday and voted on at the next council meeting.

If you want to take a look at the fireworks portion of the meeting packet, click here.

Grand Rapids and Kentwood just this week adopted ordinances that ban the use of fireworks except for the 30 days state lawmakers consider sacred for big noise: the 10 federal holidays and the days before and after.

I’ll be crossing my fingers.

The noise in my neighborhood has, at times over the past few weeks, made me think I was living in a war zone. It’s been often impossible to walk my dog. I even had my first-cup-of-coffee zen harshed by some bottle-rocket launching yahoo at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. Seven-thirty! My first cup of coffee!

So, I’ve gotten my squeak on. You can read all my rants here, here and here; I’ve been in contact with Howell Mayor Phillip Campbell and Howell City Manager Shea Charles; I started an online petition that you can sign by clicking here; and I’ve complained to anyone who stands still long enough for me to catch their attention.

While I was at the market today, chatting up a dude about the fireworks, he shared that he was a recent transplant to the community, and the “new normal” of bottle rockets and whatever else the yahoos set off reminded him of gunfire.

“I never expected to hear that in Livingston County,” he said.

“Since the Welcome Wagon folded up shop, that’s how we Livingston County-ites say howdy,” I said.

I hope the Howell City Council does the right thing: Introduce the ordinance on Monday and vote on it at the next meeting. There is not a single issue I can think of at this moment that more directly affects the quality of life in Howell’s quaint neighborhoods.

And, FYI, also on the agenda is a matter of using unspent snow removal money to rid the city of the recently installed, tiny, traffic circles.

I’ve actually come to terms with the little circles, and while I can’t speak for the whole city, the circles seem to be doing a great job at slowing down the traffic that used to zoom through our neighborhood.

But enough about the traffic circles. Driving around them matters not to me one bit; it’s become routine, and I don’t see where taking them out — or leaving them in, for that matter — contributes to our quality of life.

These fireworks are a completely different story.

If you agree, be sure to sign the petition by clicking here. I’ll be taking a copy of it to the Howell City Council meeting on Monday.

About Maria Stuart 211 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.