The Governor and our Board of Education changed the date of Board of Education elections and budget approval to November. This saves the Township $45,000, but what about the Fire Districts? The annual election for the Board of Fire Commissioners will be on Saturday, February 18. The taxpayers will also be asked to approve the 2012 Fire District budgets. The date is mandated by the State, but can you think of a worse time to hold an election.
It’s the middle of the winter on a Saturday. Only the truly diehard exercise their right to vote and the stats indicate the numbers are appalling and dismal at best. It is time for the Fire Districts and the Township Council to support pending legislation to change the date for election of Fire District Commissioners and budget approval from February to the day of general elections.
Also because Jackson has four separate fire districts, no one realizes that the Township is spending in excess of $5 million a year on the Fire Districts. This is half the amount we spend on the Police Department and more than the Public Works Department budget. It would be substantially more if not for the generosity, dedication and commitment of all of our volunteers. Spending of this magnitude certainly deserves a little more scrutiny from the public and the press.