Letter: Give local control to counties, cities

State Sen. Jake Chapman, who guided the fireworks bill through the Iowa Senate, proudly proclaimed, “It’s a local issue, and we put language within the bill that allows for cities to ban and restrict the use of fireworks. Obviously, we have heard from people that are upset about it.” Chapman also said, “I suspect if it’s a big enough issue, those residents will have their local voices heard, both in direct contact and also at the ballot box.”

I agree. But let’s include other issues that are “local issues.” Let counties and cities limit or ban CAFOs and limit the detriment to the water supply through fertilizer and pesticide runoff. Let’s let them decide if pipelines should be buried under their ground. Applying the Senator’s logic, cities and counties should have a host of powers that the state sees fit to limit such as the minimum wage.

And what of the consequences of the states’ actions? Chapman said, “If you walked outside the Fourth of July, or the night before, or depending on where you live even a few nights before, you could both see and hear just how loudly Iowans support their freedom to shoot off fireworks to celebrate the Fourth.” If you asked the emergency dispatchers how many hundreds of people called to voice their displeasure, you’d also agree there is a cost to freedom and it is paid by you and your neighbors. Therefore, maybe more local control is a good thing.

Garry Klein

Iowa City

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