Ooooooh. Aaaaaaaaah. Wooooooooow.

None of that will be heard cascading down from Mounds Park this July 4 – at least, not on the city’s dime.

Mayor Carter is declining to spend tax dollars on fireworks:

Mayor Melvin Carter announced on his Facebook page Wednesday that he would be scrapping the annual fireworks display, stating he believes there are better uses for tax dollars.

In his post he writes, “As I’ve considered the budgetary priorities we manage across our city in the first year of my administration, I’ve decided I can’t in good conscience support spending tax dollars on a fireworks display in Saint Paul this year.”

The budget hawk in me applauds – until he realizes that the Saint Paul City Councijl will find  much dumber uses for any money saved.

More philosophically?  I support the Mayor’s decision.  I’m a patriotic American who believes in the ideals of the state that was founded in 1776; a celebration by a government that eschews those ideals, in favor of (at best) those of the Swedish or Danish (or Venezuelan) social welfare states is an appropriation of my culture.

There.  There’s your fireworks.

(Although watching liberals heads exploding over the Kennedy retirement might just be a better display anyway).

13 thoughts on “Ooooooh. Aaaaaaaaah. Wooooooooow.

  1. Good for him! I admit it – I didn’t vote for the man, I had him pegged as a generic DFL big-city politician. But none of them would EVER dream of ranking spending by priority, then slashing the lowest priority items. Only somebody with an actual head on his shoulders – and the stones to take the heat for doing it – would try it.
    I’m impressed.

    Granted, there’s no constituency for public fireworks. We’ll see if his prioritization principle extends to slashing grants for street art or firing a few diversity and outreach coordinators. But it’s a great start.

    Hey Mayor, you know what would make it even better? Give this speech: “Although the city can’t afford a fireworks display, I encourage citizens to work together with their friends and neighbors to put on their own displays. Bring your coolers and shoot them in the back yard. Just be careful not to blow off your fingers, poke someone’s eye out, or set the roof on fire. This week only, I’m instructing the police to treat fireworks calls the same as illegal alien calls: drive by to see that people are acting safely and not crazy, then move on. Have a wonderful celebration, St. Paul!”

  2. Hopefully the mayor will take the fireworks money and direct it be spent on pothole repair, post haste.

  3. I applaud the mayor also – because when government steps in, it pushes others out. One of the reasons for our “Bowling Alone” loss of civic organizations is that government has assumed their role resulting in an “I gave at the office (taxes)” excuse for not participating in community life.

    4th of July celebrations are a classic case for the Chamber of Commerce, the Lion, the Kiwanas, the VFW and American Legion to bring the community together. Elected officials have a role in helping this along – but not as “officials”, more as leaders.

  4. I would echo most of the above comments – I have zero problem with St. Paul saving $100,000 (and I don’t even live there).

    However, it becomes a little harder to support the Mayor’s action when he says the budget is “a values document” (quoted in an MPR article on the story) and that the city doesn’t have the money to celebrate the 4th of July. And frankly, I know he’s only been Mayor since the beginning of this year, but pulling the move so close to the 4th leaves no time for another organization to fill the void.

    Again, it’s by no means a substantive issue – they’ll be plenty of fireworks around the metro on the 4th. But it’s a curious choice of words by the Mayor and a poor case of timing.

  5. I wonder if Jacob Frey is smacking his forehead and asking himself, “Dammit, why didn’t I think of that??!!?!”

  6. Greg, your comment on private funding for fireworks match my thoughts to a T. For fireworks in Mpls all one has to do is travel through the 4th precinct to witness the flash and boom, no city dough required.

  7. My town hosts “Freedom Blast” the last weekend in June (tomorrow as a matter of fact). It is a celebration of America focusing on the sacrifices our military has made.

    We close the main street for a big street dance. The South Carolina Military Vehicle Association brings all their cool stuff; kids love manning the M-2 on Eddie’s half-tracked armored vehicle (Eddie swears it’s non-functional). The SC National Guard is here in force (free beer, man). There is music, cool car show, food, vendors, a parachute demo team and yes, fireworks.

    We can afford the outlay because we don’t have an human rights department, or a bicycle advisory board, or a Diversity administrator.

  8. Swiftee, I know where you’re at in SC, and you describe what is to me the real America. The kind of communities across the nation that I’m told HRC didn’t reference in her book “What Happened”.

  9. Scott, every time I look at the lines of kids waiting patiently for their turn to get into the military vehicles and spin the M1911 & M2’s around on the turret (ta, ta, ta, ta!!!), while the parents click pictures, I think “what fresh hell would erupt if this was in St. Paul?”

    Then I have a cigar and a beer with my friends and neighbors.

    Real America is still a wonderful place to be.

  10. Where I grew up, it was always the local chamber of commerce and not the taxpayer that paid for fireworks. The government only supplied the park where the fireworks were launched, and it was always a good show. I helped clean up one year and almost got fired when I threw an un-detonated firework into the incinerator. What saved my job was I warned my coworker that something might go BOOM in a minute, which it did.

    And a guy on my school bus route growing up had a DUKW or two in his front yard. Good times. Nothing says good neighbors like an armored vehicle or two on private property.

    Sadly, the BBQ there isn’t as good as Carolina, but it’s improved over the years.

  11. My buddies that served as Marines will likely shout out OORAH in the celebration of the 4th holiday, although a firework show may be unnecessary for them given they’ve heard their share cannon fire.

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