(June 15, 2005) -- Sparked by a comment from a member of the public at the June 14 City Council meeting, Councilmembers Dan Baker and Frank Colonna publicly indicated that efforts are taking place to try and revive LB's July 4th beach area 2005 beachfront fireworks display, cancelled this year when Queen Mary operator QSDI (currently in bankruptcy) said it couldn't come up with costs to cover city services, required this year by city management.
During public comment on non-agendized items, the following took place:
Mark Beery [sp]: ...I'm not a LB resident but my heart is here, I'm a permit holder in the Marina...I work in the Port as a consultant...I want to discuss the cancellation of the fireworks display here this year...I think it's a wonderful event for this city. It highlights the world class city that Long Beach is.
We're a port city, and I know all other world class port cities -- Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston-Galveston -- all of them will have waterfront fireworks displays, and I just think it's a shame...
It's truly a family event...It's the only real family event that we have on the waterfront...I don't know why they were cancelled other than costs but I just think it's a real shame that you're letting that go...
Councilman Baker: I agree completely with the speaker, and Councilmember Colonna and I and others have spoken with the City Manager on this issue and we are desperately trying to find a way to have the fireworks show go on. The concern at this point is that the current operator, Mr. Prevratil, had already cancelled the contracts, so we're looking to try to find a pyrotechnics person and get the barge back that they shoot the fireworks from. There are many people that are working very hard to make it happen.
And the whole reason this became a concern was the cost to the city of excess services. At least three different Councilmembers here, and I'm sure others, have received very generous offers from community members who are willing to put up money to help pay for some of these costs, and I greatly appreciate that.
And we're going to make it happen if the people are out there that are willing and able to do the job, we're going to make it happen...
Councilman Colonna: ...I want to echo Councilmember Baker's comments, because we did memo the City Manager and wanted to make sure that we can get this thing accomplished this year and probably the city being the stronger partner that we work here and in the future in making sure that we don't end up with an abrupt potential or possible cancellation.
So we'll just keeping working and hopefully we can get this accomplished before the 4th of July.