The Special Act (ID # 5781) Relative to Outstanding Fines, Fees, Penalties, or Cost Related to Use of Fireworks or Pyrotechnics in the City of Springfield was initially sponsored by Mayor Sarno and submitted to the City Council for consideration at their July 20, 2020 meeting.
Although fireworks are illegal in the City of Springfield and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and being caught with them can result in fines, this penalty has not had the deterrence many had hoped.
Last year, the City Council did approve to revise a city ordinance allowing the city to issue a non-criminal disposition fine of $300 per violation of unpermitted use of fireworks. The ordinance was sponsored by Ward 2 City Councilor Attorney Michael Fenton and Ward 6 Councilor Victor Davila.
If approved by the City Council, the Special Home Rule legislation would be sent to the Springfield state delegation to be filed with the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for passage in both the state House of Representatives and Senate. Mayor Sarno is hopeful that with both Ward 1 City Councilor and state Senator Adam Gomez and Ward 8 City Councilor and state Representative Orlando Ramos, that they can work together with their legislative colleague’s, including former Springfield City Councilors state Representatives Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. and Bud L. Williams, and the rest of the Springfield state delegation in passing and enacting this important Home Rule legislation.
Mayor Sarno states, “After recently meeting with City Councilor Victor Davila, we will respectfully ask for the City Council to bring my Special Home Rule legislation out of committee and to approve this important quality of life issue that will put some teeth on the illegal fireworks that terrorized all of our neighborhoods last year. I want to thank Councilor Davila for his support and backing. Now is the time to get this legislation passed and sent to our state delegation to give relief and peace of mind to our residents. Although it might be winter and snow on the ground, it is never too early to plan a head for the warmer weather where we may once again be faced with the abuse and misuse of fireworks.”
Ward 6 City Councilor Davila stated, “The illegal use of fireworks has disrupted our neighborhood’s peace and quiet. I will not tolerate this nonsense. This home rule legislation puts real consequences on individuals that show no regard for our quality of life.”
“The constant barrage of fireworks we experienced across our city last year not only posed a quality of life issue and a potential fire hazard for our brave and dedicated public safety officials,” Mayor Sarno added. “It was also a major concern and issue for our residents suffering from PTSD, our families who have a new born baby at home who are trying to sleep, and for our pets who become scared and anxious from the loud noises.”
“This legislation would allow the city to immobilize parked cars when the owners have long-delinquent violations related to illegal fireworks possession,” Mayor Sarno continued. “This will give the City of Springfield the much needed authority to hold these violators accountable. It will send a strong message that fireworks are not only dangerous and a major quality of life nuisance but it will remind them that fireworks are illegal and that there will be a significant cost associated if you are caught with them in the City of Springfield.”