East Clinton Fire District 93% Tax increase.....
Posted in the Clinton Corners Forum
#1 Feb 17, 2008
At a meeting held Feb 13th we were told it is part of the Budget and no details would be provided...but
rumor has it that's its some kind of cart-before-the-horse deal rental deal made to occupy a building being built by Dyson over on Salt Point....any tips on doing a FOIL request??
#2 Feb 17, 2008
FOIL info can be found at:
#3 May 2, 2016
They're doing it again...East Clinton Fire District taxes doubled in recent years to fund a pension plan for VOLUNTEERS at $130,000 per year, with assets of $700,000-plus in the fund with only 24 active volunteers and 35 inactive volunteers participating in the plan. They get $220 per month each tax free for life at the lowest trigger age in the state for volunteer fire companies: 55.
And the ECFD wants to build a lavish new unneeded $4 million firehouse paid for by the 600-plus homeowners in the District. That will give the Town of Clinton FOUR firehouses--with a population of only 4,000: the West Clinton Fire District has two firehouses and East Clinton will have two. And who trusts the ECFD with taxpayer money after a previous commissioner was indicted by the Dutchess County DA for embezzling $130,000 in public funds from the District? The money was never found. And the District Commissioners, two of whom served under the former Chairman accused of the theft never filed an insurance claim for the loss. Why not? Stop the new expensive and unneeded ECFD firehouse.
#4 Nov 30, 2016
The beleaguered 700 homeowners in the East Clinton Fire District are expected to turn out in very large numbers to vote for reform candidates for treasurer and commissioner in the Tuesday December 13 ECFD election. A historically high voter turnout is predicted, motivated by district residents' frustration with the unrelenting secrecy, questionable policies and poor stewardship of major public assets by the ECFD board. District voters are dismayed as the ECFD board implacably moves forward with plans to build an unneeded $22 million lavish new firehouse designed by architect Mike McCormick. He is chair of the Dutchess County republican committee, and his brother, Tim McCormick, is captain of the ECFD fire company. The community strongly opposes construction of a new firehouse, for which a 4.2 acre parcel was prematurely purchased as its site by the board several years ago for $217,000 in taxpayer funds. That property is now assessed at only $100,000.
In 2014 voters in the ECFD rejected a referendum to establish a reserve account dedicated to a new fire house. The ECFD board continues to ignore the clearly expressed intent of the community to stop a new firehouse, which would be the fourth firehouse in the Town of Clinton, with only 4,000 residents and 1,500 households.
District residents, fed up with the lack of transparency that masks many practices of the ECFD board, enthusiastically support the vigorous campaign of two highly qualified reform candidates for the ECFD December 13 election: Macy Sherow is running for treasurer and Bob Trzcinski is seeking election as a commissioner. Trzcinski is a former volunteer firefighter. Sherow's family has been in the community for generations.
They hope to join ECFD commissioner Art Weiland who was overwhelmingly elected on a reform platform to the board last year. But he has been consistently outvoted by the four other commissioners on matters that he feels are against the interests of district residents. Weiland has been stymied in his efforts to effectively advocate on behalf of district taxpayers by the other commissioners, including board chair Stephanie Bonk who forbids Weiland from entering the firehouse, using the dubious excuse that he is not a member of the fire company. The other commissioners are fire company members. Weiland is an elected and sworn fire district commissioner.
The entire $530,000 ECFD annual budget is paid by property taxes. That budget includes an annual payment of $130,000 to fund a pension for fire company volunteers, called a Length of Service Award Program, that was secretly approved eight years ago by fewer than two dozen voters, almost all from the fire company. There are 1,300 voters in the ECFD.
Former ECFD board chair Carl Germann was arrest for the alleged embezzlement of up to $130,000 in public funds. He died before he went to trial. The stolen money was never found and financial records are missing.
The ECFD's 2015 financial audit, which was due in the NYS Comptroller's office in June, 2016, was completed months ago by the auditors, but has not been approved by the Board of Commissioners. There is no indication from the Board when it will review and approve the 2015 audit, submit it to the Comptroller and release it to the public. This failure to comply is expected to attract further scrutiny of the ECFD by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Vote at the East Clinton Firehouse off Salt Point Turnpike behind Jeanie Beanie's Cafe on Tuesday December 13 from 6pm to 9pm. For an absentee ballot contact Maryann Thompsett, ECFD secretary-treasurer: [email protected]
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