Not The Item


The Burning Issue

September 13th, 2013

September 12, 2013

Mayor David Persing
City of Sunbury, 225 Market St, Sunbury, PA 17801

Dear Mayor Persing:

After reading the article on September 10, 2013, in “The Daily Item” and viewing the video of the Sunbury City Council meeting, I have a few questions that need to be clarified.

You were asked if existing devices would be “Grandfathered” in.  There was no mention of your decision in the video recording nor was there any mention in The Daily Item article on what decision was reached on “Grandfathering”.  Will there be any “Grandfathering” of existing fire pits?  When the ordinance that outlawed the use of “burn barrels” was passed, there was no “grandfathering” for existing burn barrels.  What would be the point of trying to stop the use of these items if people could simply be grandfathered in?  Would the “grandfathering” ignore the homemade devices, the distance from structures, or other equally important items?

You stated in The Daily Item; “Fires also cannot become a nuisance to neighbors by producing excess odor, emission or prevent the reasonable use and enjoyment of a person’s property.”   Who decides when a fire becomes a nuisance to neighbors or produces excess emission?  I would hope that sitting on our porch or leaving our windows open at night to sleep constitutes reasonable use and enjoyment of our property.  Certainly a fire that produces smoke will be a nuisance and will not allow us a reasonable use and enjoyment of our property.

You stated that, “Members of the Sunbury police force, all fire chiefs and code officers will be the only people who can enforce the new ordinance and they have the power to shut down a fire at any time.”

When I open our windows in the evening and our neighbor starts a fire in their back yard and smoke comes billowing into our bedroom window, or prevents us from sitting on our porch since we cannot breathe smoke filled air, will the Sunbury Police respond when we call and shut down the fire that is a nuisance and prevents us from enjoying our property?

I realize that this is an Election year and you are apparently trying to appease both sides of the Open-Burning issue.  Unfortunately, The American Cancer Society and American Lung Association take a totally different view of breathing smoke filled air.  With all the medical knowledge and recent health information, it appears that you are intentionally trying to “Kill-Off” your most important asset: TAX PAYING CONSTITUENTS.

The favor of a reply would be greatly appreciated.

Joseph Metz
538 Susquehanna Ave., Sunbury, PA 17801

cc: Not The

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