Vote ‘No’ on South Fire budget
The South Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners has voted to bring forward yet another budget that increases spending and the resulting tax burden on home owners, renters and businesses of the district.
Missed opportunities for spending reductions in the proposed 2017-18 district budget include commissioners compensation of $9,000 or a $45,000 drain on the district limited resources over the next five years, new staff vehicle $35,985 and a questionable contingency line item of $50,000.
Additionally, replacement/ call backs, essentially overtime, is proposed to increase from $170,000 to $200,000.
Most alarming is that the commission acted to delete all revenue from the line item of municipal grants and revenue sharing. The present budget includes $100,000.
To eliminate such revenue assumptions and while limited risk may exist during these difficult fiscal times, district taxpayers will have been overtaxed if any amount of this revenue is in-fact received. To mitigate any risk, the district could have developed a simple expense reduction contingency plan.
From a fiscal stewardship perspective and without question, the district budgets have a history of significant surpluses, which would indicate ample opportunity to easily provide taxpayer relief while effectively maintaining current service levels and excellent services provided by district firefighters.
Please vote “no,” but most importantly, be sure to vote Tuesday, April 25, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.at the South District firehouse. — Dan Penney, Middletown