Dear Resident of the East Clinton Fire District,
As the current fire district Board of Commissioners continues to emphasize financial restraint and transparency, we have worked to develop and pass four important resolutions. They will rein in the cost of the district's pension-like service awards programs and establish reserve funds that will give taxpayers more say on major expenditures.
Now, we need your vote on Dec. 10 on these four referenda that we think are vital to keeping taxes low and to ensuring that residents have more say in how we spend your tax dollars to meet future major equipment and facility needs. We need you to vote between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the firehouse in Clinton Corners on these four referenda:
- Create a Defined Contribution Service Awards Program for new members, starting Jan. 1, 2020. Each year a volunteer earns a service credit, the program will put $700 in a state-administered account in their name. The new program will spend 75% less than the existing Defined Benefit Service Awards Program to finance a year of service credit earned by a volunteer. The new program involves no investments and is not subject to market fluctuations as the Defined Benefit Program. This referendum closes the existing program to new members.
- Amend the Defined Benefit Service Awards Program to affirm its current monthly benefit level of $20 for each year of service credit a participant has earned and bar a once-contemplated 50% increase.
- Establish an Equipment Reserve Fund to accumulate money for future capital purchases of equipment, apparatus, and machinery needed to fulfill the ECFD's mission.
- Establish a Capital Improvements Reserve Fund to accumulate money for future capital expenditures in connection with the buildings and real property needed to fulfill the ECFD's mission.
Both these reserve funds will safeguard public funds for their dedicated purpose and assure taxpayers more say on major expenditures. They avoid sudden surges in taxes by fostering regular savings to be prepared for future big-ticket equipment and facility needs. The ECFD has long had accounts dubbed reserve funds for both equipment and capital improvements. But the current Board of Commissioners has been unable to document their approval in a public referendum as required by state law. These two referenda correct that shortcoming and assure residents of the safeguards provided by legitimate reserve funds.
Your voice is important to the future of the ECFD. Please come out to vote on Dec. 10 when ballots may also be cast for candidates for Commissioner and Treasurer of the ECFD.
Stephen N. Forschler, Chairman,
Arthur Weiland, Michael DiGiacomio, Robert Trzcinski, Byron Calame