Friday, April 24, 2015

Opinion: South Fire District Budget: VOTE NO!!!!

Submitted by Dan Penney. The Eye welcomes all signed opinion pieces. See also the opinion piece from the South Fire District, adjacent to this one.
To the editor:!! ! ! ! ! ! ! April 22, 2015

The South Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners has scheduled voting on the proposed 2015 - 2016 budget for Tuesday, April 28, 2015 from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the South District Firehouse.

Why vote NO?

The proposed budget includes new spending at $432,645 or + 9.6% , an increase in salaries by 9.2% at $2,982,176 and overtime being at an all time high at $170,000 or increased by 16.4% .

Its unfortunate and a disservice to the taxpayers of the south fire district that a number of identified opportunities for expense reduction that would not have negatively impacted current service levels were quickly dismissed during the recent budget workshop sessions.

Most alarming, the commissioner compensation line item remains at $9,000 and will, over the next five years , draw $45,000 of critically needed resources from the district for a needless administrative practice of commissioners payments.

Also, the total proposed budget with expenditures at $5,028,722 which includes four new shift commanders, is increasing when the current budget includes a prior year surplus of $209,629. With such excessive taxing, district budget surpluses are not uncommon.

Our hardworking district firefighters and taxpayers deserve better.

This may be a commission proposed budget but it’s your vote that matters most. Its critical for every voter be sure to vote next Tuesday and please vote NO !


Dan Penney
1101 Chamberlain Hill Road

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