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City OKs second public housing officer, fireworks
Nov 21, 2012 3:50 pm
The Lebanon City Council had a fast-moving meeting Tuesday that included approval to pay half the salary of a second Lebanon police officer in the city's federal public housing and fireworks sales and use within the city limits.
This was the second time the proposal for the federal housing officer was passed on a first reading. The measure failed on the original second reading when Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath voted against it.
The only item to stir debate at the meeting was a proposed amendment to the city code to allow fireworks sales and use in the city. Warmath brought the measure before the council.
"They're illegal now, and people are doing it anyway," Warmath said.
Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Huddleston voiced strong opposition to the motion. He said he was with police officers last July 4 when they "came under fire" by people shooting fireworks at people on purpose.
"We were assaulted," he said. "We might be gaining a few dollars, but it's not worth it. It's creating a nuisance. I don't support changing anything. They're too dangerous. "
"They are doing it all over town, Warmath told Huddleston."
Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said the issue was safety, and the ban came about because an officer was hit by fireworks aimed at him. But Warmath said the sale and use of fireworks in the city would work if the council made them "controlled, permitted and licensed."
Huddleston said it would be best to "enforce the law we have."
At that point, Mayor Philip Craighead suggested a work session to hash it out, but Councilor Rob Cesternino balked at denying people fireworks.
"Good grief, it's just fireworks," Warmath said.
With that, the council voted 4-2 to allow fireworks within the city.
Huddleston looked to Bowen in the audience and said, "Good luck, Scotty."
The council also:
• hired a dispatcher, lieutenant and a new officer for the police department.
• proclaimed Dec.10-15 as "Be a Santa to a Senior" Week.
• hired a new fireman for the Lebanon Fire Department.
• funded improved lighting for a city ball field.
• Funded cleaning underground fuel tanks at the Public Works Complex.
• bought a sewer push camera.
• approved 5 percent of the cost for airport security cameras.
• bought a half-ton pickup truck for the recreation department.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.