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Remember to Vote in Fire District Elections Tonight!

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© Peter J. Weishaar and Rochester Law Review, 2013 – 2015.

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If you live in a Town, chances are that your fire service is delivered by a Fire District.  Many people assume that their local fire department is merely another department within their Town’s government.  But, generally around much of Upstate New York, fire service is delivered by a Fire District, which is a separate political subdivision with its own taxing power and a separately elected Board of Fire Commissioners.

Tonight is the night when nearly all local Fire Districts hold their elections for Fire Commissioner.  Sometimes there are other propositions before the voters, like whether to dispose of surplus apparatus, or whether to incur indebtedness for the purpose of constructing a new fire hall or purchasing a new piece of apparatus.

Fire District elections are typically held between the hours of 6pm and 9pm (and can sometimes start earlier), and each Fire District is required to publish a notice of election.  The notice of election is also provided to the clerks of each Town serviced by the Fire District, and the clerks are thereafter required to post the notice on the Town’s website.  Thus, if you are not sure if you live in a Fire District, and want to know where the election will be held, the best place to start may be your Town’s website.  For example, the Town of Penfield is serviced by three Fire Districts: West Webster Fire District, Penfield Fire District, and the North East Joint Fire District.  Notices of election for each district may be accessed from the Penfield Town Clerk’s page here.


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