DUBLIN -- This city will remain one of the few in the Bay Area that allows the sale of so-called safe and sane fireworks, after rejecting a local resident's plea to outlaw them.
The Dublin City Council agreed Tuesday to stick with its current law allowing sale of the nonexploding fireworks during the Fourth of July season at booths that raise funds for Dublin charities and educational causes.
One resident told the council that it is sacrificing public safety for money.
"Why does Dublin allow the sale of safe and sane fireworks declared illegal by hundreds of other cities? The money," said Marlene Massetti, a Dublin resident who sought the ban.
Council members said banning safe and sane fireworks in Dublin would not stop the region's widespread problem with illegal fireworks that can injure and trigger wildfires.
Safe and sane fireworks do not explode or fly through the air, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.
"I'm not convinced that by eliminating the sale of safe and sane fireworks, we're going to do anything to change the environment," said Councilman Abe Gupta. "We're still going to wrestle with these problems."
Other council members agreed, saying banning the nonexplosive fireworks in other cities has not stopped the widespread use of dangerous fireworks by private individuals.
Dublin's law allows nonprofit groups selected by lottery to operate some 15 booths selling safe and sane fireworks at designated locations in town. The sales begin a few days before the July Fourth holiday.
The city also designates three park sites in town for people to shoot off safe and sane fireworks and then dispose of the ashes and remains in metal containers monitored by firefighters.
Dublin residents supported the fireworks sales in advisory ballot measures in 1982 and 1988, although the last vote was close with 1,689 voters opposed to a ban and 1,575 voters in support.
Safe and sane fireworks sales were allowed last year in Gilroy, Hollister, Watsonville, San Bruno, Dublin, Newark, Sebastopol, Union City, Rohnert Park, St. Helena, Pacifica and Petaluma.
Bonnie Terra, a division chief in the Alameda County Fire Department, said there are many ways that people can get illegal fireworks if they are determined to do so. She also said there has been an increase statewide in use of illegal fireworks. Reports and sightings of unofficial displays are a common occurrence in the days leading up to and including the holiday.
Massetti also complained that illegal fireworks have become more widespread in western Dublin.
Council members responded by asking for stepped-up law enforcement of illegal fireworks.
"I think the minimum we can do is have more enforcement," said Councilman Kevin Hart.
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.