SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno will be submitting a ‘Home Rule’ legislation to the City Council in hopes of adding stronger penalties for those continuing to use illegal fireworks.
According to The City of Springfield’s Mayor’s Office, penalties already in place for using illegal fireworks has not stopped city residents from using them. Mayor Sarno expresses the ongoing use of fireworks has not only posed a quality of life issue, but has also affected those suffering from PTSD, families with newborns, and pets who are scared and anxious from the loud noises.
The special ‘home rule’ legislation is an act relative to outstanding fines, fees, penalties, or costs related to the use of fireworks or pyrotechnics in the City of Springfield. It would automatically attach the $100 fine, onto the renewal fee for a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and a city excise tax.
Mayor Sarno talked to 22News and said, “A stronger message has to be sent because I don’t care how high you raise that fine, there has to be teeth in it. So, I want the teeth in it and I want it to hurt. I want it to hurt them so that next time, ‘What do you mean I can’t get my license, I can’t get them to register my car?'”
The legislation is scheduled to be submitted for the City Council’s approval at their next meeting on July 20.
Ward 6 City Councilor Victor Davila also has filed an ordinance which would raise the fine to $300 for anyone who is caught using them in Springfield. Davila hopes his ordinance will pass by July 20th, and he is supportive of passing Mayor Sarno’s legislation as well.
“I have heard the fireworks in my neighborhood and the complaints from our residents about the quality of life issues from these illegal fireworks that have been plaguing not just our Springfield but has become a negative phenomenon for urban America too.
It is time for our illegal firework violations to have some teeth to them. Much like the home rule legislation which was passed into law years ago to help the City crackdown on delinquent excise taxes and parking tickets, this legislation would also allow the city to immobilize parked cars when the owners have long-delinquent violations related to illegal fireworks possession.
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.”Mayor Sarno