About Garth Christie
- Township Clerk

Garth Christie

Garth Christie is a life-long resident of Redford and an honor graduate from Thurston High School, the University of Michigan Dearborn (B.A.), and Wayne State University (J.D.). He is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan.

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Redford, Michigan 48239


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Feature Story

September 2015

A letter to Governor Snyder regarding Public Act 256 of 2011 - Fireworks

The following letter was sent to Governor Snyder by Redford Township Clerk Garth Christie on August 10, 2015.

Governer Rick Snyder
State of Michigan
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Governer Snyder:

It is the birthright of four season Michiganders to be buoyed by stored memories of enjoying warm sweet summer nights with family and friends as we brave the cold ice and snow of our bitter winters. The weekend of July 4th should have provided such memories. Instead, our peaceful enjoyment of our lives and property were taken from us by our own State Government with the passage and enactment of PA 256 of 2011.

It is both understandable and regrettable that the sages assembled in Lansing determined (presumably after exhaustive scientific study) that they were in a better position to make neighborhood quality of life decisions than everyday people elected by their neighbors. By definition we are common elected by ordinary people. Lansing is special and superior to us; however, the elite have it wrong in this case.

I have received many dozens of complaints regarding the intensity and duration of the recent fireworks rampage. Most neighbors used the phrase “war zone” to describe what they lived through. This brings to mind those who suffer uniquely from these powerful explosions – veterans, people with brain injuries, autistic children, and pets. Certainly this is no way to welcome home those who have placed themselves in harm’s way so that we all can live in peace and freedom.

I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1993. I do not have PTSD, I was a desk jockey. My point is that when I was on active duty fireworks were never launched from the base housing area. Similarly, I have enjoyed community fireworks in small towns across America and Up North. In these examples, fireworks were never set off near where a bunch of people lived.

On the night of July 4th & 5th I forfeited my right to the peaceful enjoyment of my life and property. I had to care for and clean up after frightened, sickened pets including Autobahn the most beautiful two year old German Shepherd dog you can imagine. Afterward I toured about a ½ square mile area of my community to find out why. The majority of blocks had no discernable fireworks activity but that did not matter. There were six large fireworks parties with cars parked on both sides of the street, lots of plastic cups, revelry and huge stockpiles of explosives. The firecracker bangs and pops started early that afternoon and then morphed to the sonic booms after dark, going well into the next morning, and they haven’t stopped.

I started writing this letter on my patio long after the holiday when a neighbor one block to the south of me started launching surface to air missiles. A neighbor to the north saw this as a challenge, began his retort and I was forced inside. The area where my home is located has 90 year old homes on 35 foot wide lots.

I am not anti-fireworks. My neighborhood is flooded by people when we have our Redford Township community fireworks in the adjacent Wayne County Bell Creek Park, however the inconvenience is temporary. The fireworks display of my neighbor a few doors down is eternal and rivals our community fireworks display in intensity.

It is an irresponsible abdication of the duty to govern to give our residents such liberal access to and use of these dangerous obnoxious explosives and to emasculate elected local governments of any meaningful control is the nadir of poor governance.

Please listen to the voices of the average every day citizens who elected us to City Councils and Township Boards and you as our Governor. Further, please consider the enclosed Resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Redford encouraging the repeal of Public Act 256 of 2011.

       Very truly yours,

       Garth J. Christie, MMC
       Clerk for the Charter Township of Redford


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