The following letter to the editor was submitted by Andover resident Cynthia Nasiatka (photo). The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Andover News. You can learn more about our policy on opinion and commentary on our Mission and Policies page.

Please be aware ahead of the Annual Town Meeting that there is a concern regarding Article 21: the Jerry Silverman Fireworks allocation of funds.  To explain, at the Town Meeting of 2023, the Town voted to amend the article in the spirit of stopping the plastic debris and other contamination affecting the abutting Andover Wetland property which borders the field where the fireworks are launched from, and the bordering properties. The actual amendment voted in place at that time further specified that $s for fireworks be limited to fireworks that were most environmentally-friendly.  Following that TM vote, the Select Board voted to allow fireworks for that year’s upcoming Forth of July celebration (2023) to continue as long as the vendor did not use the heavily-ladened-plastic devices that caused the immense contamination in 2022. When voting on that decision, it was conveyed to citizens that for future fireworks celebrations, the Andover town would look into more environmentally friendly and less-destructive ways to hold the event – in keeping with the spirit of the amendment.  The feeling was that there would be more time to do so for the 2024 event, but not for the 2023 event. Everyone agreed to this approach.

We are now a year down the road, and instead of showing due diligence to support the will of the town, the Town Manger and Select Board approved the relative article for next week’s TM with its only language as it had been written in 2022 (with no inclusion of the amendment concept). 

To reiterate arguments made ahead of the 2023 Fireworks event, Andover’s event as it has been orchestrated over the last decade shows a clear lack of concern for basic fireworks-safety and environment stewardship (Andover fireworks are exploded over homes, over the roadway with passing cars, over power lines, over wetlands, and even over event-watchers: the vendor explains that the explosions occur within a 90 foot radius with the color-enhancing heavy metals and debris falling directly down –  but anyone who has been to the Andover event knows that the wind and trajectory show otherwise – and stress the lack of predictability of such explosions is indeed a documented safety hazard (look it up – fireworks should NEVER be exploded over houses and powerlines – and certainly never over protected wetlands).

I urge the Town Manager, the SB, the Conservation Commitee, and the Fire Department to re-think the location of the Jerry Silverman Fireworks annual event, thus finding a safer venue void of powerlines, homes and pedestrians, and where the entire debris field is easily containable for a complete-cleanup, to ban the use of plastic material, and to avoid the toxic insult to the boarding wetlands. 

Cynthia Nasiatka

Andover News accepts and encourage reader submissions, including letters to the editor and opinion columns. Submissions should be 750 words long or fewer and Andover-focused. Please include your name, title if applicable to your topic and connection or interest in Andover. We also need a phone number so we can confirm authorship. Send us your prose! 

Share Your Thoughts!

Discover more from Andover News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading