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The following is a statement from City Manager John Regan in response to community concern over the city’s decision to cancel the 4th of July fireworks celebration, Fireworks Over the Matanzas:
During the May 11, 2020, City Commission meeting, I presented information regarding the City of Jacksonville Beach and the City of Daytona Beach fireworks’ celebration that was not fully vetted for accuracy. I stated that those cities had cancelled their displays when, in fact, their final decisions are still pending. Flagler Beach has cancelled their fireworks and parade.
The status of neighboring communities factored heavily in the City Commission’s decision to cancel our fireworks celebration.
It is my responsibility to ensure that the information I provide is accurate and I sincerely apologize to the City Commission and our community for working with erroneous information.
The basis of a decision should include consideration of the status of the COVID-19 phased re-opening plan by Governor DeSantis, impacts of neighboring community decisions, and crossing beyond a date that results in unnecessary expenditures. For the City of St. Augustine, that date is Friday, May 29, 2020.
I will schedule a late-May City Commission meeting so that they can evaluate the most up-to-date and accurate information and make a final decision that provides for our public health, safety, and well-being.
Thank you for your understanding.