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Central Coventry Fire District Board Financial Reports, Budget Nixed

President Girard Bouchard ousted in board election; Fisher & Jervis in.

 

It’s definitely back to the drawing board for Central Coventry Fire District board members.

In a contentious, 4-hour-long annual meeting before an overflow crowd of more than 400 taxpayers at the Coventry Town Hall Annex on Monday, most citizens responded with a loud and collective “No!” in voting not to accept the Tax Collector’s and Treasurer’s Reports for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012, the proposed CCFD budget for 2012-2013 and a resolution to adopt the tax rate for next year.

Discrepancies in figures between the two reports- including one estimate that budget figures were $300,000 apart- left many voters confused and upset.

The Treasurer’s Report showed the budgeted total revenue for fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012 was $6,276,340. The total of revenue shortages and expense overages resulted in a deficit of $995,998, due to expenses in excess of amount budgeted ($343,179) and total revenue being short by $652,819.

In the past year, it was noted that the amount of delinquent balance was cut from $854,868 to $196,334. 

Interim Chief Andrew Baynes read and discussed, line by line, items for the 2012-2013 proposed budget totals for personnel, $5,098.859, and operations, $1,584,920, and projected revenues, of $1,000,384.

A vote was also passed to abate noncollectable taxes for $6,000

“Get us some answers,” implored Coventry voter Conrad Burns to board members. “We don’t know this, we don’t know that, we don’t know anything.”

The board did display information showing district residential property owners with a house valued at $140,000 would pay an estimated $67.42 more annually and mobile home owners $49.00 for 2012-2013.

But Leo Blais explained the three-tier system for different tax rates for residential, mobile home and commercial property owners was “an illegal action”.

After much discussion, a measure was adopted to suspend discussion on both reports and complete further business on the agenda. A resolution was adopted to have reports audited by Dec. 3 when the board and citizens would reconvene. An amendment was added requesting the reports include more information and comparative annual statistics. “We will do our best to have a more ‘people-friendly’ budget,” said President Girard Bouchard. “We will also advertise the meeting.”

Chief Baynes presented the Chief’s Report for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012. He said the department was staffed with 52 career Firefighters/EMT’s, one Fire Marshall, one Tax Collector and one Administrative Assistant. EMS service accounted for 2,452 incidents and fire-related service 765, or 8.8 alarms per 24-hour period.

A loan for tax anticipating notes was approved with a provision that the board must pay off the total loan by August, 2013.

CCFD Board members voted to accept and support two possible resolutions by District 33 Senate Candidate Lou Raptakis. If elected, he promised to introduce in the General Assembly legislation to freeze the district fire tax for elderly residents and another to adopt a 4.25% tax cap for the district.

A resolution proposed by Leo Blais was passed for a charter and by-law commission for the fire district.

Finally, during a brief recess, dozens of voters did not return to vote in the election for new board members due to the lateness and delay in voting. Earlier, a hand vote to adjourn the meeting was taken and defeated.

Paper ballot results were: Marie Fisher, 119, R. David Jervis, 104 and Girard Bouchard, Jr., 65. Lou Raptakis earlier had bowed out of the election. Bouchard was given a standing ovation by the remainder of the crowd for executing his duties as CCFD President as the session adjourned.

RS October 03, 2012 at 03:24 PM
It can't go on a Townwide ballot because each Fire District is chartered through the State as an independent organization. It would be like having a Statewide ballot to merge West Warwick and Coventry. Best thing would be to have the different boards get together to form a plan then present a Bill to the State like Central did.
Gdma15 October 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM
The pink fire truck was donated! The paint was donated! The manpower to do it was volunteered. Your an idiot and you should get your big mouth to shit up before opening it. Jacka$$...
Leave RI October 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Gdma15, who is that for? It looks like you were trying to reply to something but put it in the wrong place. It doesn't make sense under Mohawks comment. I could be wrong and maybe you just wanted to blurt something out. It just looks like you forgot to hit the reply box under whoever that was for.
Gdma15 October 03, 2012 at 06:34 PM
It was to reply to Emile's post.
Leave RI October 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
ok got it
Ralph N October 04, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Emile... You should be ashamed of yourself for that comment... Not only did you disrespect all the people who donated their time and money into the Pink Heals Fire Truck but the Women who suffer from that horable condition. Please get your facts straight before you spill your problems with the Fireman in Coventry,
Ted October 04, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Emile, my name is Ted Dion, I am the founder of RI Pink Heals. I want to assure you that there has never been a fire truck painted pink on the with any taxpayer dollars. The fire department does store the truck for us and for that I am gratefull. Please email me with an concerns president@ripinktrucks.com
Leave RI October 04, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Schenck..you didn't get enough hugs as a kid..two words..midol and nap
dohn joe November 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM
not to be an ass, but wheres the big brown fire truck for colon cancer? Did some major officials wife/husband pass away from breast cancer, and decide that colon cancer isnt a bad thing? All cancer is bad, so i dont want to hear about just one type. typical people that only see things one way- their way. You people are the reason why theres going to be no christmas soon. Because you only think about yourselves and noone else.
dohn joe November 19, 2012 at 07:13 PM
The bottom line is, we are such a small state that we could survive just having the state police patrol our streets, and three to four fire stations. furthermore, we could afford to get rid of secretaries that work for the state too. its time these elected officials get off their large butts and do something themselves. There are much larger towns in different states that are bigger than this whole state and yet they use a quarter of what we do, so stop having these useless meetings and do what we have to do to survive. I see these officials saying things, but nothings happening. In the long run their not gonna do a damn thing for us.
Lauren Costa (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Dohn, Pink Heals supports all cancer, not just breast cancer.
Realistic voter November 19, 2012 at 09:19 PM
You are another blow hard with no concept of what you are talking about...crawl back under your rock!!
dohn joe November 20, 2012 at 06:01 PM
hmm, now you sound like you are a firefighter that is very mad. Its not very hard to bring you out of hiding. So simple. I see a lot of police and firefighters on these blogs hiding behind their blog names. Usually its the ones that are rude to the people that speak their minds, because they have a lot to lose.Anyway, i'm in no way against the pink fire truck, im simply pointing out that the pink fire truck is merely only for the breast cancer awareness. Would you like to test that theory? Ask anyone in rhode island what that truck stands for and you will get the truth. So don't give me petty answers when you yourself know the truth.Im just saying that all cancer is bad,so why just have a public truck with just breast cancer all over it? Im going to be looking into this to see if ANY of the money was used from taxpayer money.This state should not cater to just one type of disease when there is much worst diseases around here. Again this reminds me of where it came from, im thinking a town or state officials family member passed away from breast cancer. What about the rest of the people with illnesses? Are they getting the same treatment? I doubt it. Who pays for the fuel to run this giant billboard? As to the firemen wearing uniform, I would think that the taxpaying vehicles would also have to be uniformed, and that is not uniformed.
Gem101 November 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
If you read the editors comment and the post by ted you will get your answer to the money issue. I guess that its easy to see who you are if you can gain access to money matters right John.
dohn joe November 20, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I am justn ordinary taxpayer that is just so sick of these towns and cities spending tax payer money on things that dont need to be bought. we all see it happeni ng but we never get answers. i guess if you make a big enough stink about something then the truth comes out. just a question but who pays for these tee shirts that these firefighters are wearing? This is what i mean a about wstching where the money is going. its a nice thing but how much is it costing us? sorry about the spelling but im responding from my phone.
Lauren Costa (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I can answer that for you. The firefighters purchase the pink t-shirts with their own money in support of the Pink Heals cause.
dohn joe November 20, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I just emailed the president of pink heals im awaiting a response. just another simple question, but do the fire fighters get paid to stand in the road with the boot. Im trying to save money any way possible. things aren't looking good in this state and some things need to get cut. obviously some good things have to go too. and if they do get paid then how is that a charity when they are being paid?
Lauren Costa (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 08:48 PM
For the boot drives, both the MDA and 'Tis the Season, the firefighters collecting money in the boots are either a.) volunteers who participate on their day off or b.) on-duty and in between calls, but standing by to respond with their apparatus. Yes, the "charity" aspect of the drive is represented by those spending their personal time to participate, but obviously the most charitable part is the money donated by members of the community to the causes.
dohn joe November 20, 2012 at 08:52 PM
and to my amazement if you google it then it will tell you that they are on the clock and getting paid for standing there in the street with uniform on with a boot in hand. How is it charity if they are being paid? can you check that patch? why cant they just take half their pension and put it in a boot? I guess im just being a prude watching society watch their money go nowhere then cry about it. Everything you see you have to wonder if your paying for it and why is it happeneing. there are too many things out there that we really don't need right now. the government (our money) funds special needs, why do we have to pay more? the government keeps taking and taking and saying their gonna cut back, but we get nothing in return except large bills while their still eating lobster laughing at us. I don't believe in ANY government officials word. they lie to us all the time. Ok im done ranting. but can you please check up on that patch? thank you
Lauren Costa (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 09:19 PM
It seems that you didn't read the "b.)" part of my last comment where I acknowledged that some of the firefighters involved are in fact, on duty, between calls. You also are not recognizing the donations that are made on the part of residents who put their money in those boots. Is voluntarily donating to a cause not charitable? I'm almost positive that is one definition of charity. You could always Google it, though.
Lauren Costa (Editor) November 21, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Thanks for clearing that up, Matt.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Well matthew if you werent in such a hurry to be an ass then you could read up that i was already on the site and emailed the president of the site. i have someone looking into it already. for the firemen to be on payroll while collecting tax payer money is sickening regardless what it was for. they should be shoveling these sandy clogged drains out or testing hydrants. do their own jobs. i guess its just another money wasting problem that we have here.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Why would i want to ask a treasurer?dont you live in rhode island where our treasurers dont know how to count? I always like to go to the higher ups when i wont be as lied to as much. Thanks anyways
Leave RI November 21, 2012 at 01:01 AM
It's all good Matt..I throw into the boot whenever I'm around..they do something similar where I work out of state and I throw into that one too..go easy on this guy Matt..not only is his caps lock missing..I think he would complain about cold ice cream..keep it up.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Matthew dont give me shit about it being about all cancer. if you ask anyonewhat those vehicles reprisent they will tell you breast cancer. You are merely a gender ridden racist.read your own wefbsite then you tell me that i am wrong. enough said about this. i am done with this publicity of an all female matter.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Matthew thinks in a political way. to say what people want to hear . matthew i dont dislike you. but i do dislike people that think just their sicknesd should be taken care of first. so would uou bump the next person in line just to save what you think is better? As in would you save a person with breast cancer before any other kind of cancer? Im very sorry if you lost someone that you loved but there are many many more sick people that need help that cant get the state to get volored taxpaying vehicles to represent them. You sir only use these vehicles as billboards.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Awareness is good. but shouldnt you be using wooden bllboards. its a shame how our taxpaying vehicles and workers are used to be mere billboards for the choice few people that have money.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM
and I would like to see this firefighters on the clock doing charity on the books the next quarter that it becomes public please. has anyone seen the logs for fire departments and actually seen that they stood there for charity? I read them all the time and have NEVER seen it on their logs. Must be a hidden expense.
dohn joe November 21, 2012 at 04:10 AM
im not trying to be an ass, all im trying to do is open eyes to whats going on.
Ted November 21, 2012 at 04:08 PM
After speaking with Matthew who is the treasurer of our chapter, I reviewed the comments made of the patch. I am sorry you view our chapter as singular and for the benefit of a firefighter agenda. I would like to explain how we benefit the community of those stricken with cancer but I think your disposition may be set. I would truly like to show you our chapter in person and the work we do in hopes I might change your opinion of our work. We do our very best to support families who battle cancer without any profit of payroll and it’s done on our own time. We are an organization of volunteer and career first responders who believe we can make a difference and elevate some suffering of those who are experiencing hardship while fighting any type of cancer. In 2007 when the Pink Heals Mission was founded in Arizona, it was founded to support women and their fight against all cancers. Our trucks are pink because it is her color and not that of a disease. Since 2007 we have changed our mission to help families and not only women. I am willing to discuss this at length but I won’t engage in a war of words which is disrespectful and vulgar as it simply will not be beneficial to either of us. If you have anything I can help explain, I am willing to do my best and discuss. Ted J.Dion President, Rhode Island Chapter of Pink Heals

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