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Fire Taxes Totaling $2.8M Up for Vote in Parsippany

Annual election will be held on Saturday.

Annual fire elections are Saturday, when Parsippany residents can vote on their respective district's proposed 2013 budget and elect members to the district's Board of Fire Commissioners.

Each of Parsippany's six fire districts—Mount Tabor, Rainbow Lakes, Lake Parsippany, Lake Hiawatha, Rockaway Neck and Parsippany-Troy Hills—has its own five-member board that creates budgets and collects property taxes to maintain and support the town's volunteer fire departments.

The proposed tax levies this year total $2,819,582. If a budget is voted down, it is sent to the township governing body for review.

This year, some Parsippany districts also have special questions seeking approval to purchase a generator and set aside money to buy new fire apparatus.

Parsippany is one of only three towns in Morris County, along with Hanover and Montville, that has fire districts.

Polls are open from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the local firehouses:

  • Fire District No. 1 (Mount Tabor): Mount Tabor Fire Department, 909 Tabor Road
  • Fire District No. 2 (Rainbow Lakes): Rainbow Lakes Fire Department, 1 Rainbow Trail
  • Fire District No. 3 (Lake Parsippany): Lake Parsippany Fire Department, 255 Halsey Road
  • Fire District No. 4 (Lake Hiawatha): Lake Hiawatha Fire Department, 39 North Beverwyck Road
  • Fire District No. 5 (Rockaway Neck): Rockaway Neck Fire Department, 650 Edwards Road
  • Fire District No. 6 (Parsippany-Troy Hills): 60 Littleton Road
District Proposed Levy Mount Tabor (1) $411,166
Rainbow Lakes (2) $267,500
Lake Parsippany (3) $381,280
Lake Hiawatha (4) $472,725 Rockaway Neck (5) (Eastern Parsippany)
$822,346 Parsippany-Troy Hills (6) (Central Parsippany)
$464,565

The Candidates (A sample ballot for District 2 was not available from the county)

  • District 1 (Vote for two): Joseph Resciniti and Paul Eisenberg
    • Special Question: Authorize accumulating reserve funds over several years to buy new fire apparatus?
  • District 2 (Vote for one full three-year term)
  • District 3 (Vote for two): Gabriel A. Yaccorino and Robert Yeager
    • Special Question: Authorize purchasing and installing a new generator for a sum not to exceed $50,000? Purchase to be made with funds on hand that have been set aside for this for this purpose. There will be no increase in taxes for this purpose.
  • District 4 (Vote for two full three-year terms): Robert G. Schneider and John J. Wieners. (Vote for two unexpired two-year terms) Brian Sysko and Byron Tracey
  • District 5 (Vote for two): Daniel E. Umana and Robert J. Campbell Sr.
  • District 6 (Vote for two): Mark G. Krevis and David Martinez.
    • Authorize spending up to $25,000 in 2014 for Capital Items such as property improvements and other equipment? The Board requests approval to use prior years operating surplus, in addition to capital surplus, if such funds are available. Funding may also be provided from other year 2014 revenue.
joseysbride February 15, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Gabe, he says he is a good guy.
Robyn M. February 15, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Why is District 5 twice the amount of the other districts? Could we get more information? I am a big fan of the fire department members and think they were great after the hurricane. Just want to understand. Thanks.
gary martin February 15, 2013 at 01:12 PM
People of the Great Township of Parsippany, Please review the facts about your fire District. The 2.8 M is a very low amount if you review the total cost of what we the citizens are getting. Please review the following at your local fire District: 1. Equipment Cost Note: Different equipment for Districts, does change cost., 2. Building costs, 3. New safety equipment and equipment that needs to be up-dated., 4. Training equipment and hours needed. Note: This line cost always needs more money because this is the main subject that saves live(s). Please remember, Firefighters help us for free. Final Note: I am not a firefighter.
Wilnj February 15, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Robyn - I may be mistaken but Rockaway Neck is actually two fire houses. There's the one on South Beverwyck and the other on Old Bloomfield Rd.
Joan Callamezzo February 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Gary Martin, you may be the person with the least credibility on telling people how to vote. You state "2.8 mil is a very low amount" but you had no problem kicking 10 children out of the school system the other night.
Tushar R February 15, 2013 at 03:12 PM
I think the difference has to do with the number of residents and businesses in each district. For instance, Rainbow Lakes has a relatively small number of houses and very few businesses on Interpace Parkway, while Rockaway Neck has many apartment complexes and businesses along Route 46.
Chris February 15, 2013 at 05:37 PM
You know...paying for fire departments should be paid for by residents home owners insurance. Because that's what the FD is... insurance so your house doesn't burn to the ground. And if you are high risk (like having no smoke alarms in your house or have had the FD at your house before) you should have to pay more. Just a thought.
William Paavola February 15, 2013 at 05:44 PM
I would like to know where I vote. Is there help on that?
Andy Sadowski February 15, 2013 at 06:24 PM
How can Rainbow Lakes Fire District propose a budget of $267,500 yet Rockaway Neck’s Budget is $822,346. Both district serve the residents of Parsippany yet one Fire Districts budget is 3 times more coming in at over 3/4 of a million dollars. I will make it clear that all the Fire Fighters in Parsippany due a great job at keeping our community safe. I am grateful that they do volunteer because if not, the tax burden for a paid department would raise our taxes even more. However, it seems as though there are no checks and balances for the fire department budgets. The Fire Departments create their own budgets and historically, they have always been passed without questions as to where the money is spent. Although the departments go through the motions as required by law, very few people outside the fire departments show up to vote on the budget. In 2010, only 290 people came out to vote for the budget that at the time was approximately 2.7 million dollars... For reference, click on the link.. http://www.northjersey.com/news/88986247_Fire_District_budgets_create_a_hot_issue_in_Parsippany.html There is no question in my mind that the common goal of all the Parsippany Fire Districts is to protect the citizens to the best of their ability. However, at what cost? Can the fire district work together at consolidating their resources and equipment to save the tax payers some money. Many towns are looking at consolidating resources to save money. Why not start here.
Jake Remaly (Editor) February 15, 2013 at 06:56 PM
These should be the polling locations: Fire District No. 1 (Mount Tabor): Mount Tabor Fire Department, 909 Tabor Road Fire District No. 2 (Rainbow Lakes): Rainbow Lakes Fire Department, 1 Rainbow Trail Fire District No. 3 (Lake Parsippany): Lake Parsippany Fire Department, 255 Halsey Road Fire District No. 4 (Lake Hiawatha): Lake Hiawatha Fire Department, 39 North Beverwyck Road Fire District No. 5 (Rockaway Neck): Rockaway Neck Fire Department, 650 Edwards Road Fire District No. 6 (Parsippany-Troy Hills): Parsippany-Troy Hills Fire Association, 60 Littleton Road
Adam Greenberg February 15, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Operating expenses, rateables, insurance, debt service, district size, manpower size, equipment, utilities and much more make up the budgeted numbers. Each district is different in size, and some districts have different needs. For example, some districts have highway to cover, others don’t so the tools and equipment vary. Other districts have wetlands, manufacturing, office space and homes, so their needs are different as well. I believe the volunteer first responders at your district’s fire house have more pride and professionalism than ever.
Parsippany Taxpayer February 15, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Chris, By code you should have a certain amount of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The businesses and homeowners in the town need to pay for the service - but I would like to know historical costs and change from last year to this year. If higher than inflation I would like a breakdown to make sure they are not decreasing the quality of life of my neighbors.
Chris February 15, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Yes, that's what the fire code is, but does everyone follow it? Of course not! But, my dad was a fireman for almost 30 years, and bad fire after bad fire, (especially fires where people perished) they would find out that the people in the house either didn't have smoke alarms or they had them, but they weren't working. People don't think about these things, but if they were fined for not having a smoke detector, they'd prob put one in. And of course, if you have a smoke alarm, your chances of perishing or having a major fire, goes wayyyy down. But, whether the department responds to 1 fire or 50 fires in a year, the fixed cost of maintaining the firehouse, the trucks and the rest of the equipment is always going to be there. What I was saying, is that maybe if we could transfer the burden to the more high risk individuals who drive the cost up, then maybe the rest of us who never use this Insurance could pay less in taxes. I mean, if you call the ambulance and need to go to the hospital, who pays for it? You and your medical insurance do! Shouldn't your homeowners Ins pay for the fire dept if they need to come to your house?
JS February 15, 2013 at 09:50 PM
They do have 2 firehouses, but they are the same District. District 1 & 6 also have 2 firehouses.
Sabot February 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM
I love finding out about "elections" the day before. Can't ehy just merge these with municipal or school board elections so turn out exceeds 1 percent?
Mike62 February 15, 2013 at 11:46 PM
All these things can be broken down to the residents if they attend the meeting at their districts firehouse. These meetings typically take place at the beginning of the month and the bored of fire commissioners don't have a problem breaking these things down. For more information can be received at town hall rather then things like this and other news papers that are typically wrong 90% of the time. Example- they tell all these things a day before the voting day rather then letting the residents know when these meetings are so they can find out more info.
Voter February 16, 2013 at 08:39 AM
They should merge this vote and the school board elections with the general election. We need notice and details.
Carol M. February 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM
The current irony, hypocrisy and, the whole lot of crazy we typically see, set aside; the good people of Parsippany thank you for taking the caps lock off and for allowing a glimmer of sunlight to penetrate this time around prior to making your comments.
Nicholas Robert Homyak February 16, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Any election with low voter turn out should not be counted or seen as a democratic process. It shows lack of information being circulated as to informing the populace If for example we know the number of registered voters or better yet potential voters and then see that a tiny minority only votes the referendum itself should be invalid. In a real democracy it should be mandatory that all citizens of age register to vote this is more important that say registering for a draft in a country that now has a volunteer military. This might prevent many many unnecessary tax hikes and private interest from benefiting from the polls. Several nations have such constitutional mandates for elections.

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