Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wantagh Fire District Budget Hearing

As the Wantagh Fire District (more than eleven square miles in size) includes a section of Seaford west of Seaman's Creek, I attended the public budget hearing of the Wantagh Fire District, October 16, 2007, pursuant to a law signed by Governor Pataki in 2006. The hearing was called to order at 7 p.m. with the pledge to the flag and a moment of silent prayer for those fighting overseas. Superintendent Antonucci gave a Powerpoint presentation of the budget. A comment period followed, but the seven citizens in attendance were told that no questions would be answered. One person commented that the presentation was excellent. With that, the meeting ended at 7:20 p.m.
The number of emergency calls keeps rising, about sixty percent of them for rescue (ambulance) work. Also, an increasing number of calls are transferred from the Nassau County police because their ambulances are already on call.
The superintendent explained the proposed budget of $6,177,500 in less than twenty minutes. Account 100 totals $925,000 for "Personal [personnel?] services."
Account 200 totals $630,000 for purchases.
Account 400 totals $1,551,500 for what seems to be a variety of running expenses. In part, it includes (Account 400 03) $65,000 for Travel/Conventions. Account 400 11 includes $310,000 for Fuel/Light/Water. Account 400 23 includes $30,000 for Travel.
Account 600 totals $1,895,000. In part, it includes $500,000 for hydrant rentals and $420,000 for Service Awards (LOSAP, or Length of Service Award Program).
The tax rate will decrease in 2008, even though the budget went up.
Before the meeting, a six-page summary of the budget was distributed. Also distributed were copies of the Public Hearing Policy, including these two important points:
"3. This is not a question and answer session. This is a hearing designed to solicit comments from the public. The Board wants to hear your concerns so they can better represent you."
"4. Please do not expect the Board to answer any questions, as this time has been reserved for the public to inform the Board of Fire Commissioners about their concerns and comments regarding the proposed budget."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fire Districts Public Budget Hearing

It seems that a new state law requires fire districts to hold public hearings on their budgets, even though the citizens apparently do not get to vote on the budgets. It seems that these hearings must be held on the same day, October 16, 2007. The Seaford Fire District will hold its hearing at 7:30 p.m. at the Waverly Avenue fire house. The Wantagh Fire District, which covers much of Seaford, will hold its hearing at 7 p.m. at the Park Avenue fire house.

Seaford Public Library

On October 14, 2007, the friends and staff of the Seaford (N.Y.) Public Library held a gala celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Library. For six photos of the event, please click on this link. When you reach that Flickr page, clicking on each photo will enlarge it. You do not have to register to view the photos.
Many thanks to all those who worked to establish the Seaford Public Library in 1957 and to the friends and staff who have contributed their talent and time ever since.