There’s been a lot of interest in the Fisher Fire District’s operations and concerns about over-taxation from residents.
“There’s one faction that feels that the taxes are too high and the service doesn’t match what they’re paying,” Fire Chief Daniel Chapman said Monday. “Another side is comfortable with what we’re doing and the direction that we’re trying to head.”
These issues will be top of mind for many residents as they cast their ballots during an election Tuesday for a new Fire District Commissioner, who will oversee the budget. The candidates are Anthony Carfagno and Jean Krym.
Chapman didn’t say who he’s endorsing. “I don’t want to get into too many specifics because I need to remain neutral and focus on the job,” he added.
“What I’ve said all along is I’ve heard the concerns from both sides,” he added. “I come from 35 plus years in the fire service.” Chapman has been the Fisher’s Chief for four years. “The operational budget hasn’t made any jumps. The officers and I continue to try to find ways to save money, but we also know there’s got to be a quality service. We don’t want the service to go backwards just to save money.”
Chapman said before he became chief, residents saw large increases in their tax bills because of a shift from volunteer staff to more career staff. “We just don’t have the volunteer base to get a timely response,” Chapman said. “In today’s world, the response time is one of the biggest factors, how quickly services can get there to mitigate either the medical, fire or gas emergency.”
Chapman said residents voiced concerns about lack of communication from the District.
“We really tried hard to increase our information out to the public,” Chapman said. “If you look on our website you’ll see a lot more clarification of things from me. If people have questions, I try to be as out there as possible to answer them.”
The District covers about half the North/West portion of Town of Victor, which is around 24 square miles.
The election is scheduled for Tuesday, December 18 from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Fishers Fire Station No. 2 which is located at 380 High Street in Victor.
Chapman said he hopes the next Commissioner comes in and spends time with his team.
“Sit down with myself or the officers or the staff and learn the job,” Chapman said. “Neither candidate comes from the fire service, so neither one understands it, which is ok. Having that business mindset is not a bad thing for us to help us think outside the box. But whoever gets in, I hope they take the time to listen to what we have to say. And we’ll listen to their concerns and try and find some happy medium.”
Rebecca is a veteran multimedia journalist serving as one of our core reporters in the Finger Lakes region. She is responsible for telling stories that matter to every day Upstate New Yorkers. Have a question or lead? Send it to [email protected].