Assembly Issues


Candidate Responses

Juneau is one of the few places in Alaska where using personal fireworks aren’t explicitly banned or severely restricted. Do you think that should change?

Norton Gregory

Norton Gregory

Candidate for Areawide Assembly

I don’t think it should change. I think that we really have some bigger issues to deal with in our community and that there was a little bit of noise about fireworks after the Fourth of July. In my neighborhood, I live over Douglas on Fifth Street, and I haven’t heard fireworks in quite some time. I can understand why some folks would have been agitated with the fireworks; there are some folks out there that are sensitive to noise and people that have pets certainly take issue to that. But at the end of the day, when I look at what’s going on in my neighborhood, I just don’t hear fireworks anymore, and I think that if people are responsible with them, they can self-regulate. Keep those things put away in the closet until Fourth of July or New Year’s, folks. Put ’em away. Don’t bring them out until then.

Kate Troll is running against Bill Peters for the areawide assembly seat, the only contested race in the October 1st municipal election. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Kate Troll

Candidate for Areawide Assembly

I’m glad we’re having a conversation in the community about fireworks at this point. How it should change, I don’t have a defined position on at this time. I want to listen, I want to get the input. When I first came on the assembly, I didn’t expect to have to learn about cell towers, but that was a constituent concern and the emails got flooded, and so we took up cell towers. My email basket, like other assembly members got flooded with a lot of complaints about fireworks. The intensity has grown over the time. I was very concerned when the parks advisory committee wanted to take up the question about fireworks in the park, that if we didn’t engage in that conversation, then all we might be doing is pushing it into residential areas. So, we needed to have a community-wide discussion on it. I’m glad we’re having that discussion. Where I land is going to be determined by the community input.


Mary Becker

Candidate for District 1 Assembly

We’re (the assembly is) talking about that, too. … I think there are two sides of that story. The ones who have animals, and they hear fireworks at 2 o’clock in the morning, it’s disturbing, wakes them, disturbs their animals. And then there are people, and the rights of people to enjoy our celebrations at Fourth of July and New Year’s. I think those two time periods should not ever be taken away. I think we need to have those, those are almost American, like apple pie. And so I think we should have the right to have fireworks during that time. I think we can either force our noise ordinance to be actually really complied with and enforced by our police, or we should do a time frame when fireworks are acceptable and we will be discussing that at the assembly, that’ll be a decision we’ll have to make. And again, we have heard from many, many people in the public and I think it’s really good to hear from the public on this one.


Arnold Liebelt

Candidate for District 1 Assembly

This is a really interesting issue. I did not realize the size of the population that was so passionate about this position, but as a candidate I’m becoming very well aware of that. I don’t think this is a difficult issue to solve. I think it takes a common sense approach and with reasonable people in the room, we should be able to reach reasonable decisions. I’m not sure exactly what they would look like. I know one of the sticking factors would be if possession would be illegal, and the police department was speaking to that at one of the assembly meetings, but I do believe there is a common sense approach. We can make it illegal for the possession and for the using of fireworks at certain times of the year – be that around the New Year’s, be that around the Fourth of July and then not allow it at other times. I think that’s a very reasonable approach to it. I don’t support banning it 100 percent, but I do think it has come to a point where we do need to tighten it up and change it.

William Quayle poses for a photo outside KTOO, Sept. 2, 2016. Quayle is a candidate for Juneau Assembly. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

William Quayle Jr.

Candidate for District 1 Assembly

Have a window two weeks before Fourth of July and two weeks after Fourth of July. We have a window the same way in December, have Dec. 15 to Jan. 15. And fireworks are not fired between 1 and 7 o’clock, 7 a.m. That’s my outlook. It’s a little bit broader than the mayor’s. Mayor just wanted a few days, I wanted months before and after. I don’t want to get it so they’re entirely knocking it out.

Beth Wedlon poses for a photo in a KTOO studio, Sept. 1, 2016. Weldon is a candidate for Juneau Assembly. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Beth Weldon

Candidate for District 2 Assembly

Well coming from my firefighter background, I personally have seen two hands blown apart from fireworks. On the other hand, a complete ban on fireworks, I think, is unreasonable and I don’t think it’s enforceable. JPD is certainly way too busy on the Fourth of July to deal with fireworks issues on those kind of days. Not to say it’s wrong, but it’s just not rational to think that that’s going happen. So I think what we’ll see is a compromise that they’ll be banned except for certain dates, certain times.

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