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Posted on Oct 5, 2017

City Council talks about fireworks

The short fireworks show associated with Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day on Sept. 9 was discussed at the Quincy City Council meeting on Sept. 19, and as a result the city is likely to become more involved in organizing the show so that it goes smoothly.
The fireworks show this year started with the usual oohs and aahs but ended much sooner than most expected.
At the council meeting, Kent Bacon spoke, as he has before, representing the people who put on the fireworks show. Bacon said the permit time issued by the city was shortened, so fewer members of the Northwest Pyrotechnics Association decided to drive to Quincy to shoot their fireworks.
Bacon said the group appreciates the funding the city gives to support the fireworks show, and the biggest reason it was shorter were the time constraints.
Council member Tom Harris spoke in response with unusually lengthy, prepared remarks that detailed the permitting process and referenced city code, dates, times and names. He quoted minutes from past council meetings related to the fireworks show and said it could have run 45 minutes longer than it did. The times stated on the permit were 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, he said.
The fireworks and balloon festival was not a city organized event, nor was it intended to be fully funded by the city, he said.
Harris concluded with a suggestion for a solution, that the city form a committee “to make this thing go off in the right way.”
Echoing Harris’ remarks, Mayor Jim Hemberry said the city does not want to stop the fireworks or anything related to FCAD, but the city must protect everyone and listen to everyone’s concerns.

Officer Sergio Castillo, left, receives an award from Bill Larson, interim chief of Quincy police, on Sept. 19, in recognition of Castillo’s sustained superior performance during 2017.
Photo by Dave Burgess/Post-Register

Among the other items on the meeting’s agenda, Sergio Castillo, a community service officer in the Quincy Police Department, was presented a Distinguished Service Award by Bill Larson, interim chief of police.
In his remarks about the award and Castillo, Larson said that Castillo does exemplary work, takes the initiative and shows team spirit. He is the first to volunteer and arrive at an event and the last to leave, Larson said.
The Quincy Communities That Care coalition director, Dayana Ruiz, gave a quarterly report, with the two student representatives to the council, Jazmine Benitez and Silvia Esparza, presenting what they learned at a conference in Atlanta they attended recently with Ruiz.
A public hearing was also held on the proposed sale of the old chamber building as surplus property, and there were no comments.
Later in the meeting, the council voted and approved a resolution declaring the property, at 119 F St. SE, surplus.
The council also approved a request from the Police Department to authorize contracting with a consultant who will do “a cultural assessment” for the department at a cost of $2,500.
After the meeting, Larson said Maria Agnew Consulting’s work will include individual interviewing and coaching.
“It’s being proactive,” Larson said. “We are always looking to get better as a team, just like any athletic team would be.”
He said he expects the consulting will help invigorate and unite personnel in the department.

By David Burgess, qvpreditor@gmail.com

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