To The Daily Sun,
A letter published in Saturday's Sun from outgoing Gilford Selectman John T. O'Brien caught my attention. In the very first paragraph O'Brien writes, "The Subject of personal fireworks has reared its ugly head again here in Gilford. A personal fireworks ban is the last warrant article on March 10."
Mr. O'Brien fails to inform the readers that the reason this issue is "rearing its ugly head" is because of a John T. O'Brien. You see, Mr. O'Brien was very bitter when he did not get his way at the Selectboard, so in retaliation he has initiated a petition to put a fireworks ban on the ballot.
O'Brien gives the readers his own distorted version of the history of this issue, leaving out several important facts while misrepresenting others. He mentions that "two years ago, the penalty aspect was brought up to the Board of Selectman for its review." In reality it was O'Brien himself who brought this issue up because he was upset that people in his neighborhood were shooting off fireworks near his home.
O'Brien claims that the 1988 ordinance banning fireworks (which has never been enforced) was simply overturned by the new makeup of the Selectboard. In reality this issue was researched and discussed ad nauseam and a public hearing was held. The previous ordinance was not simply "overturned", but rather replaced by a new ordinance that restricts the hours in which fireworks can be used.
Twice O'Brien whines about "disturbing noises" or "offensive explosions" at "all hours of the night," an issue that was resolved by the current ordinance. It is important to note that in a public meeting the fire chief stated that fireworks is not a problem here in Gilford. In fact the chief could not remember the department ever responding to a fireworks related incident. Is Selectman O'Brien really that forgetful, or is deliberately trying to mislead the public?
The petitioned warrant article to ban fireworks is Article 26. This ban would include sparklers and "party poppers"." The majority of the Board of Selectman (which O'Brien currently chairs) voted to "not recommend" passage of Art. 26.
A lot of things can be dangerous, but that doesn't mean we should ban them. Mr. O'Brien obviously doesn't have faith in the people of Gilford to conduct their patriotic fireworks displays in a responsible manner. O'Brien knows what is best for us and we commoners should just comply (insert sarcasm). What is next, are we going to ban chainsaws and log splitters because they, too, can be dangerous?
Don't let nanny-state liberal John T. O'Brien destroy your Independence Day celebrations. Vote "No" on Article 26.