Friday, April 13, 2012

Wallingford’s Fireworks - Pie in the sky?

As published in the Record Journal, Friday April 13, 2012


Implicit in this editorial headline is that some things in life are culminations of things hoped for but which remain unrealized.

Alas and alack, in Wallingford’s case, funding for its annual Fourth of July fireworks remains orphaned from its rightful place as an integral part of municipal budgets. Were it not for assiduous private fund-raising efforts primarily by Town Councilors Craig Fishbein and Jason Zandri, the town’s night sky would remain dim at this designated time of national and local celebration.

In yesterday’s edition, we reported that Fishbein, a Republican, and Zandri, a Democrat, founded the nonprofit Wallingford Fireworks Fund in 2010 after the town dropped funding for the show from its budget.

As illustrated atop today’s page by editorial cartoonist Kevin Markowski, this bipartisan, town-spirited duo has butted heads with Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. during planning for this year’s nonpartisan celebration. To wit: Democratic Town Councilor John Sullivan observed, “We have two sides working toward a common goal. They need to sit down, communicate and work together.” (This should be accomplished sans rancor outside of council meetings.) The news account referred to above detailed legitimate questions of town support (including funding and oversight) for various functions throughout fiscal years. Whether intended or not, it’s easy for degrees of animosity or confusion to arise relative to what should be perfunctory, clearly delineated matters of town governance.

At the end of the day, however, we’d urge full restoration of fireworks funding. Donors to fireworks private funding are, presumably, Wallingford residents and taxpayers. As such, perhaps they’d be quite willing to pay a proportionately miniscule increase in taxes to accomplish the goad. On balance with the entirety of Wallingford’s annual budget, it’s a small investment in an overwhelmingly appreciated display of civic esprit de corps and national spirit. Make it fireworks in the sky. Save the pie for Thanksgiving.

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