Members to mull poll status

Membership mulls polling place pass

After public outcry over the decision to remove Independence Hall as a polling place, the members of the Penrhyn Engine and Hose Company will examine the matter again Tuesday night, fire company officials said.

“They’re going to have another meeting, I don’t know what’s going to happen after that,” Frank Riegert, Penrhyn Engine and Hose Company President said.  

At the April meeting of the Washington County Board of Supervisors Riegert addressed the board and told them they could find another place to hold elections in Middle Granville because the firefighters were not going to provide their building.

The move was in reaction to the supervisors passing a resolution removing a stipend to fire companies for hosting polling places.

Riegert said the $100 stipend barely covers the cost of heating and electricity for a space with insurance that has a phone during the course of the day.

With fire companies pinching every penny, he said he thought the stipend should have stayed, but felt the firefighter’s reaction justified for the withdrawal of the funds.

County officials felt differently.

“We don’t want to pull that poll site out of there, that was the fireman’s choice,” Donna English, Republican election commissioner for the Washington County Board of Elections said. 

English said back when county took over polling sites three or four years ago the board of supervisors decided it was not necessary to pay fire companies for the use of their sites. 

“So they passed this resolution,” she said.

English said in the past, some had been paid for use of their sites but said the supervisors considered it a community service and most of the fire companies agreed and did not request payment. 

“A lot of fire companies figure that it’s their civic duty, serving the community,” she said.

English said she had no first hand knowledge of what other departments in the county who hosted polling places did, in terms of seeking compensation from other sources, but said they were not asking for compensation from the county. 

“I don’t know what the towns are doing,” she said, adding that two Granville districts, the fourth (Penrhyn) and fifth (North Granville), were the only organizations that asked the county for compensation.

“I’m pretty sure they’re not doing anything (other departments),” English said. 

“Most (fire departments) are very accommodating because it’s a public building and they want it used,” she said. 

English said the two departments were compensated for the use of their halls for the primary and the general election in the fall, but were notified afterwards there would be no more funding to follow.

Compensating the departments had been “under duress” she said because the demand for funds came too close to the election to find another option or to notify the voters of the district if an option was found.

“It (would have) cost us more to notify all of the voters rather than pay what they wanted,” she said. 

“We aren’t’ going to do it again and we told them that,” English said.

Riegert said the stipend helped the company break even for a day when the doors are constantly opening and closing and the lights remain on all day.

“All I’m asking for is a little help with the lights and heat and that kind of (stuff),” Riegert said. “All I wanted to do was cover expenses. We’re not making any money on it; we’re not getting any treats out of it.”

Riegert said his appeal to the board of supervisors seemed to have fallen on deaf ears and he was not considering a return trip.

“Why, so I can get stared at again? Why bother?” he said. 

“Maybe I should have let it die a natural death instead of trying to talk them back into it,” Riegert said. 

Comments

comments

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Search for missing Granville man continues

Police agencies in both New York and Vermont have recently ramped up efforts in the search for Jonathan Schaff, a Granville man who went missing in January 2014. Their investigation includes scuba diving in local quarries and questioning more than 30 witnesses. Police are looking into all tips in an effort to solve the case that started nearly 3 years ago.

By Krystle S. Morey Vermont State Police have been busy questioning potential witnesses in a local missing person case. Jonathan […]

Local bus garages fare well in state inspection

Buses

By Dan King Local school districts are among the state’s best in keeping their buses up and running. The state […]

Whitehall graduates 46

DSC_0280

By Dan King “The easy part of our lives is over.” That was the message from Whitehall High School’s salutatorian […]

Fireworks for sale, for a good cause

DSC_0603

By Krystle S. Morey Granvillians can start summer off with a bang now that fireworks are for sale in the […]

Weekender – 06/24/16

Lakes Classifieds – 06/24/16

North Country Freepress – 06/24/16

Northshire Freepress – 06/24/16

Lakes Region Freepress – 06/24/16

88 to graduate Granville High School Friday

GranvilleCapNGown2016 cmyk

By Krystle S. Morey Eighty-eight “pretty remarkable” young men and women will walk across the stage tomorrow, ending their days […]

Classifieds 06/22/16

State: No audit slated despite village request

Napa Auto Parts Manager Ken Towne said he’s worried about the time it will take a fire department to respond if his store, located across the street from the shut-down Hook & Ladder Co., were to have a fire.

By Krystle S. Morey The state Comptroller’s Office said it will not perform an audit on the Granville Hook & […]