Mayor Greg Fischer has vetoed the latest fireworks ordinance that would lift the ban on heavier fireworks like roman candles and bottle rockets.
The move may come as a surprise. Fischer previously stated the issue was a decision the Metro Council should decide. The council voted to approve the use of heavy fireworks last summer. The council then approved an ordinance to ban those same fireworks last month. The latest ordinance to lift the ban was approved by the council on Dec. 8, but rejected Thursday by Fischer.
“My first priority as mayor is to make sure that all of our citizens are safe,” said Fischer in a press release. “I agree with the police, fire, EMS and other members of our city public safety team that this ordinance is a threat to the safety of our citizens and unnecessarily exposes property and our firefighters to potentially dangerous situations,” he said.
Testimony from some metro council members noted that while hospitalizations during this past year’s 4th of July remained similar to years in the past, the severity of those injuries was higher. Other council members have dismissed that claim.
This year the Kentucky General Assembly changed state law to allow local municipalities to decide whether to sell heavier fireworks. Councilwoman Madonna Flood, D-24, introduced an ordinance to ban the use of those fireworks, but the council instead allowed them. Fischer signed the first ordinance allowing sales and use of larger fireworks back in summer.
“This ordinance that was passed last night is tighter than state law,” Fischer said in June. “So if that ordinance doesn’t pass, it defaults to the looser state law.”