Fireworks > Humans 21/5/2020 What happened: During a Special Events Committee meeting Monday, May 11, 2020, a difficult question of whether to bring staff back on the payroll to finish off the fiscal year or have $80,000 worth of fireworks for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. The majority agreed that marketing the Island for tourism would “bring things back to normal,” which was recommended by Ed Caum, CVB Director. “I don’t really see that people are going to come to watch the fireworks,” stated CVAB member, Doyle Wells, regarding Memorial Day fireworks. Member Tom Goodman responded optimistically, “In my own personal business… in the same week (the city) cut 20 (staff) members, our cancellations for reservations changed. In the last two weeks, we’re about to meet May (projections). We’ve had well over 350 new bookings in the last few weeks.” Why it matters: Clayton’s Friday and Saturday fireworks are seen all over the Island. His staff confirmed that Clayton’s would be celebrating Memorial Day with another set of fireworks and live music at 9:15 p.m. The City of South Padre Island, despite budget cuts, is still planning to fund an additional set of fireworks to be seen over the Laguna Madre for Memorial Day this coming Sunday starting at 9:15 p.m. Current layoffs had the city two firefighters short when the Gulf Point fire occurred. As summer tourism seemed to explode on the island, the CVB laid off its most experienced staff. What now: The fire department is still two firefighters understaffed. The police department is still one officer short. The CVB lost 20 employees. There was nothing on the May 20th council agenda about a plan to replace our first responders or tourism staff. Click here to view the almost 2-hour session.