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Despite Resident Feedback, Oswego Fireworks to Remain on Friday, July 3

Jun 03, 2015 05:01PM ● Published by Steven Jack

After an online uproar caused the village of Oswego to rethink a decision to scheduled this year's Fourth of July fireworks show for Friday, July 3, trustees upheld their original vote this week. 

Trustees voted 3-2 with Scott Volpe absent to keep the date July 3, as was originally approved in May. Karin McCarthy-Lange, Pam Parr and Judy Sollinger voted to keep the date while Joe West and Ryan Kauffman voted to change it back to July 4, as has been tradition in the village. 

"Listen, we goofed, and I think we need to fix it," Kauffman said before another vote was taken at Tuesday night's Village Board meeting.

Parr could not be swayed, however, as she said the 25 emails and negative online feedback the village received wasn't enough to convince her that was the will of all 33,000 residents. Parr also cited a lack of a single resident attending Tuesday night's Village Board meeting to speak on the issue.

Kauffman argued that all the negative feedback from residents was likely representative of a greater majority of those who had not spoken out. 

Another of Parr's concerns was the village overtime costs associated with paying employees to work to set up the event on Friday, July 3, which is considered a paid day off for village employees. 

Public works employees who worked on July 3 or 4 would be paid double-time, said Jennifer Hughes, Public Works Director. Launching the fireworks on July 3 would mean employees could set up on July 2 at no extra cost to the village, but anyone working on July 3 will receive overtime pay.

"I'm trying to look out for everybody, and that's what I'm charged to do," Parr said. 

McCarthy-Lange said her no vote was linked to making another date change so late in the process. Changing it back to July 4 would only cause more confusion, she said. McCarthy-Lange also asked that whatever date is picked in the future that it be kept consistent so that residents could more easily make holiday plans surrounding the fireworks. 

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