1. #1
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    ffpedro's Avatar
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    Default New York Control

    I hope that this is the right place for this. I am looking for info about what the deal is in New York with the politico situation mentioned on the front page. Is the state trying to dissolve fire departments or are they making some kind of effort to empower the counties or are they just playing mutt and taking away equipment and opportunity because some rich folks in a couple areas make large campaign contributions. I suppose at the heart of the matter is my desire to get some knowledge about what is happening here as the firefighters are seemingly against it and the politicians don't seem to care (big surprise). I am not from New York but realize that many places take their cues from that area. It would seem to me that they are upset that fire departments with fewer people have nice stuff to make some kind of effort to keep services on an even keel but I am not sure. Just curious for some enlightenment. Thanks.
    "The one man engine company...tough as hell cause we have to be."

    "What we have here is a Charlie Foxtrot of the Mongolian persuasion."

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    mdcook's Avatar
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    Being in and from upstate New York, here's the best answer I can come up with.
    The laws in NY are very favorable towards local control of certain government services. In this case, local control would mean the smallest incorporated municipality, whether it is a village, town, or city. As far as I know, none of the 57 counties outside of the 5 in NYC have total control of their fire departments like say Orange County CA for example. It is up to the local government to see that fire protection is provided.
    Now this can be done in three ways. A municipality such as a village can have a FD as part of their government and also provide fire protection to the surrounding town(s) under contract. The area outside of the village is called a fire protection district. The village residencents pay their fire tax to the village and the town residents pay thier taxes, possibly at a different rate, to the town who then gives what every funds their contract with the village calls for.
    Another way is to have a special use district, similar to a school district, that has its own elected board of commisoners and the same tax rate across its district, whether it encompasses only part of a town or parts of towns and a village or two. This is what a lot of the departments on Long Island have. It is another layer of government.
    The third way to provide fire protection is from a private, non-for-profit, membership company that contracts to one or more municipalities. These departments get some tax monies then have to depend on other means of raising funds.
    As you can see with so many types of local fiefdoms, there can be a very large difference in training and equipment from one department to another in not just the same county but the even in the same town. Some of the fire districts or towns on Long Island have more people than some of the counties here in the Finger Lakes region upstate.
    ffpedro, I don't know if this helped you understand how thing work here, but as you can see, it can be very complicated when you have several layers of government all trying to take your tax money from you.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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