A fireworks faux pas

........................................................................................................................................................................................

As bursts of fireworks settled down after the Fourth of July holiday, we are grateful — and extremely lucky — that no one’s property was lost.
During the fireworks season this year, it was clearly evident that many made their choice to buy and set off these illegal, high flying firetraps. They made the choice of putting their neighbors and community in danger. They made the choice of having a few moments of fun rather than taking the advice of fire officials to not use these dangerous devises.
While no one was cited in Valencia County for using illegal fireworks, it was obvious that some people have no respect for the law and for what’s good for the community.
Yes, we had rain. But it wasn’t enough to thwart the dangers of the drought conditions.
And despite the dangers, there was one town in Valencia County that thought that aerial fireworks were OK to sell and use. Peralta was the only municipality that didn’t impose a ban on fireworks that fly higher than 10 feet.
Not only did the town of Peralta ignore the warnings of fire officials, the town’s mayor, Bryan Olguin and his wife, Gabby, had a fireworks stand and sold the controversial aerials.
Every municipality has the right to pass and enforce its own laws. But the fact that the Olguins had a financial stake in this, makes us wonder if he was thinking more about his own pocket book than the safety of Peralta and its residents.
“This is bringing revenue into the town of Peralta,” Olguin told us last week. “The criticizers talk a lot, but they don’t do anything for the town.”
Olguin also said his family’s fireworks stand was a chance for him to “spend time with his family and to see people they haven’t seen in years.” He also said it reminded him of a time when his family used to sell fireworks years ago.
Spending time with family and catching up with friends and recalling memories, we think, isn’t a good enough reason to put lives and property in danger. Let’s just call it like it is — it’s a way to make money.
We don’t begrudge the mayor and his family, or other firework vendors, for wanting to make money — heck, it’s the American way. But, as a public official, Olguin should have been thinking about what was best for the town, for the citizens and for the community, instead of what was best for his bank account.
Sure, have a fireworks stand and make some money. But sell what is in the best interest of Peralta. And remember, just because customers bought “legal” fireworks in Peralta, didn’t mean they stayed in Peralta.
We hope that next year, Mayor Olguin will rethink his position.
Remember, the actions of one have the power to alter the lives of many.