Shaker Heights Cancels Fireworks in 2013
The event has officially been cancelled next year; city vows to offers alternate Fourth of July "programming."
It's official — Shaker Heights residents will not see a fireworks celebration in their city next year.
"That was not put in the (2013) budget by the administration, regretfully," Mayor Earl Leiken said Monday at the final Shaker Heights City Council meeting of 2012. "There have been problems in maintaining order and dealing with huge numbers of young people who have shown up through social media at the fireworks and who have been disruptive.
"It has generated a deep concern about public safety."
Council considered Police Chief D. Scott Lee's presentation on the last few celebrations and comments from residents at the work session earlier this month and declined to request that fireworks be added to next year's budget. The city paid $31,600 to host the only fireworks gathering on the Fourth this year.
"Last year, we had 98 officers making an all-out effort to try to control the situation, bring order to the situation," Leiken said. "We were unable to do so.
"None of the council members are happy about the cancellation of the fireworks. They all regret the need to cancel them."
Leiken stressed that the event is not cancelled for good, just for 2013. He said the city will offer other "programming" for the holiday next year, though the exact form won't be determined until next year.
Financial Director Bob Baker said the 2013 budget has extra money in the arts and music program. It isn't appropriated for the Fourth of July, but could be next year.
"We will continue on an even greater level to do community events and plan special things on the Fourth of July for families," Leiken said. "We do very much want people to enjoy the holiday and have it continue to be a special day in Shaker Heights."