The spending of the Fire Department is open to review. The reserve fund is for replacement of EMERGENCY equipment. This equipment can’t wait to be approved in a referendum.
With a population of 8,000, the fire departments’ charge per person is $49.49 per year, or if you want to look at the roughly 3100 households, $129.77 per home per year for Fire/Medical/Emergency Service available 24/7/365.
As I mentioned in my first post, the Bungay Fire Brigade members alone donate 7,000 hours for free. What would that cost the town if we were paid like the teachers?
50% of the Education budget goes to salaries and benefits ($7,500,000) as the departments website states. They report a pupil/teacher ratio of 15/1, do the math. Guess what the Fire Department members get?
There are roughly 1,500 students in Woodstock. Each child costs just over $5,000 to educate ($7,500,000 divided by 1500). That’s reasonable.
Finally, I spent two days looking for the BOE budget. It’s not part of the town budget and it’s not online in any of the websites. How’s that for transparency?
Fire Department members are not knuckle dragging, non-voting, non-particpating gorillas that play with “toys”. We are caring, state certified, semi-professionals that have trained for hours to provide every resident with the best protection in any emergency.
The one thing we don’t do is get bogged down in the incessant political yammering, we have important work to do.